The Ministry of Women and Child Development has fast tracked the formulation of the National Mission to tackle mal-nutrition. This Mission is now the flagship programme of the Ministry and is very high on the national agenda of the government. In order to formulate the detailed contours of the Mission and to examine innovative interventions which can be put into place to tackle the problem of malnutrition, a two-day Workshop on “Consultation on National Nutrition Mission in India : Accelerating Essential Nutrition Actions” began in New Delhi today.
The Workshop has been organized by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS). Addressing the inaugural session of the workshop, the Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that a comprehensive time bound action Plan in the form of the National Nutrition Mission needs to be put in place urgently to accelerate progress towards nutrition Security in India. She directed the various stakeholders to put such an action plan in place by 1st November this year. Smt. Maneka Ganchia appreciated the suggestions of some of the experts like setting up of an autonomous body to oversee the implementation of such an action plan.
Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Lov Verma said that Health and Family Welfare Ministry is setting up Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers to tackle severe acute malnutrition. Such Centers are already in place in several States and UTs. Dr. Satish Agnihotri, Secretary (Co-ordination), Cabinet Secretariat emphasized the urgent need for a frontal attack on malnutrition. India’s performance is dismal even when we take into account countries with comparable GDP levels, he said. Secretary, Union Ministry of Women & Child Development, Shri Vinay Sheel Oberoi emphasized the need for de-centralization and an established tracking system to achieve targets related to reduction of malnutrition.
Other prominent speakers included Dr. M. K. Bhan (Former Secretary, Deptt of Biotechnology) and Dr Chandrakant S. Pandav (AIIMS) who discussed the scientific evidence and institutional challenges that would be encountered in the journey towards eliminating malnutrition.
The workshop will discuss a wide array of topics related to Nutrition including understanding the biology of under nutrition, nutrition indicators, convergent actions for nutrition and success stories from states among others. The final outcome of the workshop will be an action plan which will help the ministry to formulate the details of the national nutrition mission.