Ministry of Women and Child Development
About POSHAN Abhiyaan:
- The Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission, is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- Launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan,
- The POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan directs the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and address it in a mission-mode.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan is an overarching umbrella scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers by holistically addressing the multiple determinants of malnutrition and attempts to prioritize the efforts of all stakeholders on a comprehensive package of intervention and services targeted on the first 1000 days of a child’s life.
- It aims to reduce child stunting, underweight and low birth weight by 2 percentage points per annum and anaemia among children (and young females) by 3 percentage points per annum
- The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
- The mission also encompasses mapping of various other schemes related to malnutrition and enabling synergies through ICT-based real-time monitoring system, robust convergence between the schemes, incentivising states and UTs for meeting the set targets, and optimising Anganwadi centres’ functioning, apart from conducting social audits.
- These other schemes include the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Janani Suraksha Yojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG), Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, PDS, National Health Mission, etc.
- For Anganwadi centres, the mission envisages the following:
- Giving incentives to Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools.
- Elimination of registers used by AWWs.
- Measuring the height of children at Anganwadi centres.
- NITI Aayog has played a critical role in shaping the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The National Nutrition Strategy, released by NITI Aayog in September, 2017 presented a micro analysis of the problems persisting within this area and chalked out an in-depth strategy for course correction. Most of the recommendations presented in the Strategy document have been subsumed within the design of the POSHAN Abhiyaan and now that the Abhiyaan is launched, NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the task of closely monitoring the POSHAN Abhiyaan and undertaking periodic evaluations.
- As a part of its mandate, NITI Aayog is required to submit implementation status reports of POSHAN Abhiyaan every six months to the PMO. The first bi-annual report was prepared and presented at third National Nutrition Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges (which is housed within NITI) in November 2018.
- The task of implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to be carried out through the Technical Support Unit (TSU) established at NITI Aayog which, in addition to the M&E, will also provide research, policy and technical support to the Abhiyaan.
- With the overarching aim to build a people’s movement (Jan Andolan) around malnutrition, POSHAN Abhiyaan intends to significantly reduce malnutrition in the next three years.
For implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan the four point strategy/pillars of the mission are:
- Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery
- Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children
- Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days
- Jan Andolan
- Month of September 2018 was celebrated as Rashtriya POSHAN Maah.
- The activities in POSHAN Maah focussed on Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC).
- The broad themes were: antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding (early and exclusive), complementary feeding, anaemia, growth monitoring, girls’ – education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eating healthy – food fortification.
- More than 12.2 Crore women, 6.2 Crore men and over 13 Crore children (male and female) were reached through the various activities undertaken during POSHAN Maah.
- It is worth mentioning that 30.6 Crore people were reached in 30 days. POSHAN Maah has given a major impetus to the Abhiyaan.
POSHAN Tracker Application
Poshan Tracker management application provides a 360-degree view of the activities of the Anganwadi Centre (AWC), service deliveries of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and complete beneficiary management for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children. Simultaneously, the mobile application also digitizes and automates physical registers used by AWWs that helps improving their quality of work.
The AWWs are being provided Smartphones procured through Government e-Market (GeM) for efficient service delivery. A total of 8.66 lakhs Smartphones have been procured by 32 States/UTs. Further, AWW and Lady Supervisor (LS) are being provided ₹200/- per month for recharging of smart phones.
Government has organised training of AWWs to facilitate use of Poshan Tracker by them and till date, more than 6.5 lakhs AWWs have been trained. Further, Ministry has sent a communication dated 2nd February 2021 to States/UTs regarding appointment of Nodal Person for providing technical support and resolving any issue about downloading the new Poshan Tracker application and its functioning.
The National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges
- Set up under the Poshan Abhiyaan, the Council is also known as National Council on Nutrition (NCN).
- The NCN is headed by the Vice-Chairman of the NITI Aayog.
- It provides policy directions to address nutritional challenges in the country and review programmes.
- It is a national level coordination and convergence body on nutrition.
- $200 million loan from World Bank will be used for implementing the National Nutrition Mission.