Kevadiya (Gujarat) [India], September 1 (ANI): Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Tuesday urged all aspirational districts of the country to make a commitment to establish a Poshan Vatika (nutrition garden) during the nutrition month starting from September 1 for the protection of Severe Actual Malnourished (SAM) children.
While inaugurating Poshan 2.0, National Conference, Irani said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the empowerment of women in all fields and urged states to take up Nutrition Month, starting from September 1.
Addressing the press conference, Irani said, "According to a 2010 World Bank report, India suffered an economic loss of Rs 24,000 crore due to lack of toilets. According to the study of the year 2018, the GDP suffered a decline of four per cent due to malnutrition, but since 2018, even in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, a mass movement is going on against malnutrition. Carrying out 16 crore activities with public cooperation... All aspirational districts of the country should be committed to establishing a 'Poshan Vatika' (nutrition garden) during the nutrition month.
"Many have done tremendous work in identifying Severe Actual Malnourished (SAM) children, but only identifying is not enough. They need protection. And only our society can help in that. The number of such children in the country was earlier 80 lakh, which has now come down to 10 lakh. It reflects the honesty of working towards this issue. However, now the states can tell us about the exact number of such children, and how it has been reduced," she added.
"The ministry will also organise awareness programmes to emphasise the importance of early breastfeeding, the need for good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life, and measures to reduce anaemia in young women and children," she added further.
The Union Minister is chairing the National Conference of States/UTs in Kevadiya, Gujarat.
The key event began on August 31 with a tribute to the Iron Man of India, the great visionary, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Statue of Unity. Subsequently, the plantation of nutritive saplings - of each state by the WCD Ministers of state.
The three key missions of the conference are POSHAN 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti. (ANI)