New Delhi: Government today announced launching of an ambitious community-led programme to address pervasive under-nutrition among women and children.
"One of the things that we are going to do as part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission-- which is the women self help group promotion mission-- is we are going to now mainstream this nutrition intervention into the self help groups," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said here.
He was addressing the launch of `Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition`- a comprehensive set of papers published this month in `The Lancet` that include new estimates, analysis and recommendations on global nutrition.
Ramesh said there are ample evidence to show that public systems to address the malnutrition "do not deliver the way they should deliver" and private systems have their own limitations.
"But there has been some impact... It has been through an intelligent, community run, community led, community anchored interventions," he said, criticising the "binary public- private dichotomy" existing in the country.
He cited the model existing in Andhra Pradesh where the state government has been successfully running the programme through its network of women self help groups.
"Through the women self help groups, in 4200 villages of Andhra Pradesh, 220000 pregnant women are being given three cooked meals a day. It is all run by women`s self help groups," the minister said.
So far the government`s focus in 2.5 million women self help groups spread of the country had been to link its 30 million women members with banks and social concerns were not part of its agenda.
NRLM has set out with an agenda to cover seven crore BPL households, across six lakh villages in the country through self-managed SHGs.
The 2013 Lancet findings underscore that India need to increase the nutritional impact of effective, large-scale, nutrition-sensitive development programmes that address the key underlying determinants of nutrition.