New Delhi: The Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu has called for a ‘nutrition revolution’ in the country.
Addressing the gathering after presenting the Outlook Poshan Awards 2019, the vice president said “there should be a national movement on the lines of Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyaan and other similar schemes to eliminate the scourge of malnutrition and other nutrition-related problems.
“I also feel that there is a need to bring about a nutrition revolution in the county by creating women nutrition-warriors or change leaders at the hamlet level. These change leaders need to create awareness and provide counselling by visiting every home.”
“We need to change the mindset and outlook of the people”, he added.
Naidu pointed out that water scarcity, drought, floods and climate vulnerability were affecting India’s food production, saying they posed “a threat to our present and future generations.”
“It should also be noted that adolescent girls act as the second window of opportunity in the case of addressing malnutrition, while the first 1000 days of life being the first window. Preventing early marriage of girls, addressing girl-dropout from schools, delaying first pregnancy and adequate spacing between births would greatly contribute to better nutrition.
“We also need to involve Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Health and Family Welfare and Food and Civil Supplies Ministries in Nutrition planning. Ideally, we should overlay Nutrition maps with agricultural maps on what produce should be able to achieve optimal nutrition and recommend seed kits. Promoting dry land agriculture will be a game changer on the nutrition front.”
Pointing out that hunger and obesity were the double burden of malnutrition, Naidu called upon all stakeholders and policymakers in the health sector to immediately focus combating the problem.