Nutrition Month was celebrated in September this year, and 36 million nutrition-related activities were organised across the country in a month
Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, Smriti Irani, along with Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Nutrition Agricultural Fund (BPKK) in New Delhi. The fund will store a wide variety of crops in 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes. On occasion, Secretary of Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD), Rabindra Panwar handed over a letter to Mr Hari Menon, Country Office Director of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Addressing the program, eminent agricultural scientist Dr MS Swaminathan said that to make India safe in terms of nutrition, a five-point action plan should be implemented in which:
- To ensure a calorie-rich diet for women, pregnant women and children
- Providing proper protein in the form of pulses
- Putting an end to deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin B, iron and zinc in women and children
- Ensuring clean drinking water supply
- Making women aware of nutrition in villages with children below 100 days of age
Taking a step forward in the direction of ‘Evergreen Revolution’ as envisaged by PM @narendramodi Ji, @MinistryWCD in partnership with @gatesfoundation launched Bharatiya POSHAN Krishi Kosh in the presence of Mr. @BillGates. #PoshanBharatKosh pic.twitter.com/qBNHboNWtJ— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 18, 2019
Dr Swaminathan further stated that the lack of nutritional elements in children not only hamper their physical development but also affects their mental growth too. He urged the Ministry to create a group of people at the community level who can be trained to help people out in villages by following this five-point program to tackle hunger.
Speaking on occasion, Irani said that this is a unique opportunity in itself when a company of this standing has decided to come on a platform with farmers and members of civil society to empower the country in terms of nutrition. He said that this is in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's message of the continuing Green Revolution through which there can be a synergy between the need of nutritious food and ways of growing crops in the country.
It was also told that the government had created a separate ministry called Jal Shakti, which is now working on providing clean drinking water to every household in the country.
Irani said she would like to thank the 1.3 million Anganwadi workers and agencies from the states who are helping to keep the nutritional goals alive. She noted that these Anganwadi assistants and state agencies have reached 85 million beneficiaries and connected them to the government through daily updates on the dashboard.
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