Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged people to take part in efforts to eradicate malnutrition during the month of September which is observed as a ‘Poshan Maah’ every year.
In the 92nd episode of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi said, “The month of September is dedicated to festivals as well as a big campaign related to nutrition. We celebrate the Poshan Maah every year from the 1st to the 30th of September.”
“Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition,” he said, while mentioning various initiatives and campaigns underway to address malnutrition in the country. “Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition. Better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the nutrition campaign,” he said.
PM Modi also listed the initiatives taken by the government to eradicate malnutrition, which include providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, launch of a Poshan Tracker to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services, and inclusion of girls aged 14-18 under the purview of the POSHAN Abhiyan in all aspirational districts and north eastern states.
“The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps – in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role. For example, take the Jal Jeevan Mission… this mission is also going to have a huge impact in making India malnutrition-free,” he said.
Speaking about the ‘Sampoorna’ project being run in Assam’s Bongai village, Modi said, “The purpose of this project is to fight against malnutrition and the method too is very unique. Under this, the mother of a healthy child from an Anganwadi centre meets the mother of a malnourished child every week and discusses all nutrition-related information. That is, one mother becomes a friend of another mother, helps her, and teaches her.”
“With the help of this project in this region, in one year malnutrition has been eradicated in more than 90 per cent children,” Modi said. He also mentioned the ‘Mera Bachha Campaign’ being implemented in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh and spoke about how bhajan-kirtans were being used to curb malnutrition in the state. PM Modi also spoke about a snake and ladder game prepared in Giridih district of Jharkhand, where children learn about good and bad habits in an innovative manner through the game.
“I am telling you about so many innovative experiments related to malnutrition, because all of us also have to join this campaign in the coming month,” Modi said.
Talking about the 75th year of Independence, the PM said, “On this special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country… We had also seen the spirit of the country in the cleanliness campaign and the vaccination campaign.”
On the government initiative of Amrit Sarovar, PM Modi said, “I urge all of you, especially my young friends, to actively participate in the Amrit Sarovar campaign and lend full strength to these efforts of water conservation and water storage and take them forward.”
Observing that the year 2023 has been declared as the International Year of Millets, Modi said, “Today, around the world, the craze for these very coarse grains, millets, is rising… For the last some time, when any foreign guests come to India, when heads of state come to India, it is my endeavour to get dishes made from the millets of India, that is, our coarse grains, included in the banquet. And the experience has been that these dignitaries have very much relished them and they also try to collect a lot of information about our millets.”
“Jowar, bajra, ragi, sawan, kangni, cheena, kodo, kutki, kuttu, all these are just millets. India is the largest producer of millets in the world, hence the responsibility of making this initiative a success also rests on the shoulders of us Indians. Together we all have to make it a mass movement, and also increase the awareness regarding millets among the people of the country,” Modi said. He mentioned that millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition since they are packed with energy as well as protein.
PM Modi also mentioned the availability of 4G internet services in Jorsing village of Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang district. “There has been a new sunrise in the form of 4G in the remote areas of Arunachal and north east; internet connectivity has brought a new dawn,” he said.