The Ministry of Women and Child Development celebrated the fourth Poshan Pakhwada from 21st March 2022 to 4thApril, 2022 which witnessed approximately, 3 Crore activities nationwide. The previous Pakhwada in 2021 witnessed around 2.21 crore activities. Keen participation was witnessed from partner ministries including Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ayush, Youth Affairs & Sports, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Education, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Minority Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Electronics and Information Technology, Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for conducting nutrition centric activities across the nation. Poshan Pakhwada 2022 was focused around two broader areas viz. height and weight measurement of ‘beneficiary children up to 6 years of age’ and activities concentrated around Gender Sensitive Water Management, Anaemia and Traditional food for healthy mother and child esp. in Tribal Areas.
One of the key activities of the Pakhwada this year, focused on Gender Awareness on Water Management aiming at promoting the role of women in water governance, conservation and management through active sensitization by Poshan Panchayats and Mother Groups. Public outreach campaigns are one of the most effective strategies to propagate the conservation, protection and sustainable use of water. This was undertaken from the platform of Anganwadi Centres. In this pursuit, the Anganwadi Workers/Anganwadi Helpers were associated with inculcating ideas and importance of water in day-to-day life of children visiting Anganwadi Centres and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
In convergence with Ministry of Jal Shakti, several activities were carried out across the country as part of the Pakhwada. These include, sensitizing village / panchayat on water conservation and management, generation of awareness through IEC material on Water conservation, workshops for women on water conservation and rainwater harvesting etc. Total participation under Ministry of Jal Shakti involved 22,31,64,045 individuals with 2,144 activities in different parts of the country.
Similarly, focus on Traditional food for Healthy mother and child, especially in Tribal areas was one of the key themes of the Pakhwada this year. To generate greater awareness on the same, Ministry of Tribal Affairs focused on EMRS schools by conducting activities to sensitize children on dietary changes, encouraging locally available foods, awareness programmes on POSHAN in schools and through parent teacher interaction, sensitizing about traditional plants that help in gaining nutrition, developing nutri-gardens in EMRS schools etc. Total participation under Ministry of Tribal Affairs involved 10,31,24,345 individuals with 904 activities in tribal districts / areas. The top states in this regard, were in States of Maharashtra, Bihar Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka etc.
Talking in terms of ‘activities around various themes,’ besides activities concentrated around overall nutrition, Growth Monitoring remain highest with more than 10% activities, followed by activities around Breastfeeding, Hygiene, Water & Sanitation, Complementary Feeding, first 1000 days, ECCE, Hand Wash & Sanitation, Antenatal Checkup etc.
In terms of specific themes taken for Poshan Pakhwada 2022, activities around Anaemia remain highest (covering both Test, Treat & Talk and Anaemia under Poshan ke 5 Sutra), followed by Gender Sensitive Water Management and Traditional Food for Healthy Mother & Child in Tribal Areas. Around 6% of overall activities were focused around Ayush centric themes covering Yoga for Health and Ayush for well-being.
Top ten States in terms of activities and participation reported during Pakhwada were Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.