India is strategically working towards improving nutritional outcomes for Children, Adolescents, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers by Leveraging Technology, Targeted Approach and Convergence.
Sanjeev Dham, COO, Smile Foundation, says, “Adolescents 10-19 years constitute around one sixth of the world’s population and 1.2 million deaths each year. Large proportion of India’s adolescents areanemic where 56% are girls. At Sampoorna project, 1000 in-school and out- school adolescent girls were selected at a cluster of around 8-10 villages of Block Amirgarh in District Banaskahtha, Gujarat. An implementation framework was done like communication strategy, linkage and leverage strategy and sustainability strategy for and Entrepreneural Capacity Building.”
“Our strategy has always been about winning with a purpose. The journey of Sampoorna has been very enriching. The Anganwadis came up with great help in bringing the adolescent girls to the centre and we educating them about nutrition. We also provided them with Nutrition Laddoo, which was a mark of an example for the girls to educate them about proper nutrition. Awareness building and service delivery for a long term sustainability amongst the girls was our main goal,” says Juhi Gupta, Head Sustainability – PepsiCo India.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Trustee, Smile Foundation explains, “As we celebrate the success of Sampoorna project, a collaborative initiative of Smile Foundation and PepsiCo, for over 18 years Smile has been working with less privileged children, youth, women and families, proving them education, food, healthcare at rural areas. The project not only aims for the upliftment of the society, but also focuses on the behavioural change in the community, impacting the mass. In the Sampoorna project, we have aimed to improve the Haemoglobin level of 1000 girls, and have triggered their families about the importance of good health in adolescent girls. The project helped them to break the barriers women face in their everyday life. This conclave gives me hope that tomorrow will be better.”
Swatantra Gupta, Head of Corporate Affairs, Smile Foundation, notes, that adequate nutrition is very essential for human development which is a major factor for any country. Since 2015, there has been an alarming issue of malnutrition globally, as United Nations started 17 sustainable development goals, under which there are goals to end hunger, reviving food security and improved nutrition. With Poshan Abhiyan being launched at 2017 by the Government of India, with a goal to eradicate mal nutrition in child and lactating mothers, there is a zeal to work more and better for the society.
Dr. Sumantra Pal, IES Joint Secretary & Economic Adviser Ministry of Women & Child Development Government of India, explains,“If India will be able to achieve the goals then we will be far more ahead. Positive Psychology in Nutrition can be a great lesson to eradicate malnutrition. The Vietnamese challenge has been a great example, how to enable communities, without much outside help, and to improve children’s nutritional status. Also, why some children in poor households were better nourished than others. We have learnt to actively feed the children in smaller meals.”
Manisha Chandra, IAS Secretary & Commissioner Women & Child Development Government of Gujarat, said, “If you do not have good nutrition, you cannot have a good community, specially a progressive one. The goal which is aimed at ending hunger and improving the quality of health in the world, especially during and post pandemic. The state government have used technology during pandemic to leverage service delivery, which has been a boon to us. Our key services are, supplementary Nutrition, growth monitoring, immunisation, refferal, health education and pre-school education. State Management Centre has been cited as the best innovative practice by NITI Aayog, Health and Nutrition Vol 2.”
Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (Poshan Abhiyaan), different schemes by various state governments, contribution of Industry, NGOs, Philanthropic Organisations and participation of the people of India strengthen the vision of ensuring attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.