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Empowering Mission Poshan 2.0

Published: 11th Oct, 2021


Recently, the Department of Women and Child Development launched Poshan 2.0 and urged all Aspirational districts to establish Poshan Vatika (healthy food garden) during Food Month (Poshan Mah) from 1 September.


  • For effective implementation of various schemes and programmes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, all major schemes of the Ministry have been classified under 3 umbrella schemes viz. Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti.
  • A month-long celebration of the POSHAN Abhiyan mission places special attention on Severe Acute Malnourished (SAM) children.
  • In 2008, when well-respected international economists, including many Nobel laureates, were asked by the Copenhagen Center to formulate an agreement on a very important development plan in which policymakers and disaster risk workers should invest, ‘fighting malnutrition’ emerged as the most important.
  • It has taken time for this to sink into our country. For generations, malnutrition and malnutrition remained a full-fledged but less visible issue in India and did not receive the attention it deserved.

What is POSHAN Abhiyaan?

  • POSHAN (Prime Minister's Holistic Nutrition Scheme) Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8, 2018, in Rajasthan.
  • Abhiyaan is India’s leading program to improve the effects of healthy eating on children, pregnant women, women, and breastfeeding mothers.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to make India a world without malnutrition by 2022. Abhiyaan aims to reduce stumbling in children from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022.
  • Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, the first POSHAN Maah was celebrated in September 2018 with a strong focus on Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC).
  • Themes included eating a healthy diet - strengthening the diet, hygiene and hygiene, appropriate marriage age, maternal care, proper breastfeeding, anemia and education for girls.

Malnutrition in India:

  • About 68 percent of deaths in children under the age of five in India could be attributed to malnutrition in children and mothers, Lancet said in 2019.
  • This basically means that dealing with total malnutrition, instead of dealing with one disease at a time, will keep our children more secure and make their future brighter.
  • According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India is among the 88 countries that are likely to lose the standards of healthy eating in the world by 2025.
  • More than half of our children under the age of five have been found to be frustrated (too short for their age) or wasted (too young for their age) or both, according to the Comprehensive National Nutrition Study, released in 2019.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 194.4 million people in India (about 14.5% of the population) are malnourished.
  • Covid-19 poses significant threats to children and their rights to health and nutrition.
  • According to the latest figures, even in the best of circumstances and accounting for changes in the provision of essential health and nutrition services as a result of COVID-19, India could have an additional 60,000 deaths (approximately 3,00,000 in the worst case) in the next six months.
  • The results were alarming what it meant for the future of our children, but it was very much in line with other independent estimates of the prevalence of malnutrition.
  • Malnutrition adversely affects a child's physical and mental development and is one of the most important risk factors for other diseases.
  • Studies also show that malnourished children are less likely to go to school and more likely to drop out.
  • This means that half of our children fall behind in silence, and no development can have real meaning without ensuring that our children and mothers are nourished and healthy.

How is the Poshan scheme affected by the Covid-19?

  • Covid-related shocks could lead to another 9 million children under the age of five suffering from dementia, two-thirds of which will be in South Asia, a study predicted in Nature.
  • Therefore, it is important that we not only renew but also redouble our efforts to go to Poshan 2.0 with full vigor while practicing distance walking, wearing a mask and hand hygiene.
  • Under Poshan 2.0, a number of related schemes have been put together to facilitate collaboration, key malnutrition sites are available and 112 aspiring districts will be considered.
  • Under the current Poshan Maah, efforts to identify children suffering from severe malnutrition have been intensified and Anganwadi staffs have been asked to refer those with health problems to health facilities and NRCs.
  • For those who are experiencing severe malnutrition without medical problems, the principles of public administration should be strengthened, so that they do not continue to create medical problems during epidemics.
  • The new Covid waves can't be released soon, and we have to adjust our nutrition interventions for such recurring shocks.
  • The pressure put on by this whole nutrition organization was disrupted when the closure of Covid led to the closure of schools, Anganwadi centers, Food Rehabilitation Centers;
  • In addition, the leading workers had to participate in Covid-related activities that were more important than their daily activities, which included identifying, targeting and monitoring children suffering from severe malnutrition and moderate malnutrition among other nutritional activities.
  • Countries have tried to address their potential by importing hot meals on dry land or by transfers.

Further steps to reduce India's malnutrition by 2022:

  • Poshan Abhiyan, who promised to make India free from malnutrition by 2022, re-introduced nutrition as a key to development and emphasized its multi-sectoral nature.
  • First, movement is structured in such a way that, in addition to direct intervention, nutrition can be improved in many ways, including:
    • Better sanitation for intestinal infections as well
    • It allows people to absorb many nutrients;
    • Increasing food diversity;
    • Vaccination of children against diseases;
    • Advising more women to breastfeed for longer periods, this improves the immune system.
  • Second, by involving many departments and departments outside of these dignitaries, as well as bringing in other stakeholders including communities, Poshan Abhiyan helped create a comprehensive food response, unprecedented in the country's history.
  • Given that malnutrition that occurred during the first 1,000 days of life is irreversible, it has highlighted a strong focus on food-related interventions to improve maternal and child health in that window since birth.
  • The nutritionist also evaluated and monitored the indicators in real-time of the program using technology, in order to make timely adjustments to lessons in a variety of situations.
  • However, what stands out as the best achievement of Poshan Abhiyan is the way senior political leaders have committed themselves to eradicating malnutrition and making it a people's organization, celebrating Poshan Maah in September and Poshan Pakhwara in March, and a few other activities.


A safe and bright future for our children will be a safe and bright future in the world and that is the message we want every fellow citizen to put in - Sahi Poshan, Desh Roshan. Other activities, such as making new mothers breastfeed longer, are controlling diarrhea in childhood, distributing deworming pills and iron and folic acid with determination while convincing target groups to take it seriously will go a long way in improving the nutrition of babies and young mothers. It is important to read and study in provinces such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which have raised the standard of care management in recent times, so that good practices are accepted and incorporated.

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