English Release 21-May 2013
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Prime Minister's Office25-November, 2010 19:09 IST
|PM Says the Malnutrition Problem must be Tackled Urgently|
|The Prime Minister presided over the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s National Council on India ’s Nutrition Challenges on 24 November 2010. The meeting was attended by Shri Sharad Pawar, the Agriculture Minister, Shri Kapil Sibal, the Human Resources Development Minister, Shri C.P. Joshi, the Rural Development Minister, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Smt. Krishna Tirath, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development, Shri Sachin Pilot, MoS, Telecommunication, Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, Shri Arun Gupta, Dr. Prema Ramachandran, Dr. Rohini Nayyar, and Members of the Council. |
Prime Minister termed the problem of Malnutrition a complex one caused by multiple factors and with long term consequences on the growth, development and well being of our nation. He said in spite of the impressive growth of our economy and a number of programmes aimed at meeting the nutritional challenge, the levels of under-nutrition continue to remain unacceptably high. Further the rates of reduction in under-nutrition over time have been disappointingly low. He said this is this is simply unacceptable.
The issues were discussed in detail. A number of valuable suggestions were made which will be kept in view as the concerned Ministries take follow up action. It was noted that Government had several programmes, which seek to tackle individual determinants of malnutrition. However, coordinated policy action is required for the individual sectors to work together.
The following important points emerged:
The ICDS requires strengthening and restructuring. The Ministry of Women & Child Development will take steps in this direction, with special focus on pregnant and lactating mothers and children under three. The ICDS also needs to forge institutional convergence with National Rural Health Mission and Total Situation Campaign particularly at the district and village level. It needs to provide flexibility for local action and empower mothers in particular and the community in general to have a stake in the programme.
It was agreed that a multi-sectoral programme to address the maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high-burden districts needs to be prepared. This programme will bring together various national programmes through strong institutional and programmatic convergence at the State, District, Block and Village levels.
There is a need to launch a nation wide campaign, coordinated by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, in consultation with Planning Commission, experts, civil society organizations working in this field, against malnutrition so as to address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant mothers and children under two, breastfeeding, and the importance of balanced nutrition, health, hygiene and sanitation.
It was also agreed that the Ministries that deal with Health, Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, School Education, Agriculture and Food & Public Distribution will bring strong nutrition focus to their programme.
Prime Minister expected the Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Planning Commission to review the progress in implementation of the decisions of the meeting after three months.
(Release ID :67622)