Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The city participated in World Breastfeeding Week and the Ministry of Women and Child Development participated in the campaign through a series of programmes.
The awareness projects in the city were not restricted to a week but spread across the whole month.
Officials said that the campaign aimed to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action on breastfeeding and related issues, through camps and awareness projects.
The theme for the year was “Enabling breast feeding- making a difference for working parents” where the department aimed to make people aware about the need for a mandatory breastfeeding room at every workplace in the city.
Ramniwas Budholiya, joint director, Women and Child Development informed Free Press that the child development project officers visited all government and private institutes promoting the idea of the breastfeeding room.
He said, “All government buildings are already equipped with a breastfeeding room which is opened when required. The drive carried out by the department focused over their utility.”
Informing lactating mothers about the correct way of breastfeeding was also one of the focus of the campaign. Budholiya said that the awareness campaign was run throughout 1,837 anganwadis in the district with special 15 projects focused on enacting Infant-Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices at 72 anganwadi centres (AWCs).
One of the child development project officers informed Free Press that the department has noticed that those children who fall in the severely malnourished category and keep on slipping into the category are those who were not fed milk according to the golden rules of breastfeeding.
During the campaign, the department was approached by various women's organisations who were interested in educating pregnant and lactating mothers about the initial rules of breastfeeding.
Roping in Men
In order to rope in men into the concept of breastfeeding, the department along with the Public Relations Department of the state organised a competition for men to create an informative video about the topic.
The department has already received over 600 videos and the first three winners will be awarded with Rs 5,000.
“Mother’s milk is a basic necessity of a child. A child needs to consume mother’s milk within 6 hours of birth. Mother’s milk is responsible for providing proper nutrition to a child.
If the child is not fed mother’s milk properly and regularly for 6 months, there is a chance that the child will become prone to poor health in the future.” - Dr Tarun Gupta, paediatrician and district immunisation officer