Unveiling a 36-week-long campaign against malnutrition by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday described the dismal national figures on child malnutrition as a wake-up call — something that stands out in stark contrast to the growth projections in various sectors.
“We must do our utmost, at a time when Indian economy is on a strong positive growth trajectory. These figures are a wake-up call and underline the need for concerted drive against malnutrition, and until we ensure good nutrition and health for our children and their mothers we cannot achieve our targets of sustained and inclusive growth. Utmost priority must be accorded to prevent undernutrition, as early as possible, across the life cycle, to avert irreversible cumulative growth and development deficits,” Mukherjee said while launching the campaign that will play out over the next few months on television, radio and through print advertisements and have actor Aamir Khan leading the way for “Malnutrition quit India”.
The campaign will be rolled out in four stages to run back-to-back with some overlap. Stage 1 will create an awareness on symptoms of malnutrition for a period of eight weeks, stage 2 will give a clarion call and is spread over six weeks. In stage 3, there are key messages on basic critical practices for maternal and child care as prevention from malnutrition. Stage 4 will inform the public about acquiring services and Mother Child Protection card.
The Prime Minister’s Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges said that one of the best strategies to combat the problem of malnutrition, would be to educate mothers on better care of children.