In the latest offering of 'Mann Ki Baat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared September as the "nutrition month". Stressing the need for adequate nutrition for mother and child, he had also called for people's participation and had informed that several activities, including quizzes and competitions would be hosted on MyGov portal.
PM Modi took to Twitter on Monday to ask people to share their family recipes to contribute towards the 'Poshan Maah 2020'.
"Let’s be #Local4Poshan!
Our nation is home to dozens of healthy dishes, which have high nutrition value. Share them on a specially created space on @mygovindia. May your family recipe contribute to a nutritious as well as healthy India. #POSHANMaah2020," read PM Modi's tweet.
The Centre will launch a drive to identify Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children and ensure their adequate nutrition and care during ongoing POSHAN Maah 2020, Union minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said on Monday.
The malnutrition in children is a mammoth health issue the country is facing right now. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 4, 2015-16, every second child in India suffers from at least one form of nutrition failure. It might be stunting, under-weight, or wasting, according to the survey conducted in 2015-16. These figures translate to about 77 million under-nourished children in India.
The NFHS survey outlined that India has 38.4 per cent stunted, 35.8 per cent underweight, 21 per cent wasted, and 7.5 per cent severely wasted children aged less than five years. In the last decade, severe acute malnutrition has increased from 6.4 per cent (NFHS-3, 2005-06) to 7.5 per cent (NFHS -4, 2015-16) in India.
While the malnutrition in children already reigned a major health issue, it exacerbated during the lockdown. A study published in July had estimated that the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus-led pandemic could contribute to food shocks, which in turn, increase the chances of malnutrition, said the study published in the journal Global Health Science on July 16.
The study attempted to estimate children who can suffer from a small food shock and fall to the threshold of the malnourished category. It also provided estimates in several scenarios from bodyweight shock of 0.5-5 per cent.
The study accounted that 5 million children are at risk of falling in the wasting category of malnourishment, while an additional 2 million children are at risk of being pushed into the severe wasting category, the study pointed out.
(With inputs from IANS)