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How Centre’s Poshan Maah Drive Is Helping In Fight Against Malnutrition In Assam

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Poshan on Wheels is a national nutrition program.

Malnutrition among the children of tea garden workers is a major concern in Assam. Those under 5 – with lower immunity – are considered the most vulnerable to Covid.

Poshan on Wheels – a central government national program to assess malnutrition in children – is underway to check levels of malnutrition in children of tea garden workers.

The program also aims to identify the children most vulnerable to Covid in the event of a third wave.

The focus is on the most vulnerable tea tribe community, already poor in food and immunity.

“Experts said children are the most vulnerable and tea gardens are where they are the most, so the government felt it needed to focus on children’s nutrition and immunity. Assam Tea Tribe Welfare Minister Sanjoy Kishan said.

Assam has 33 Lakh children.

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20, 9.1%, 1 in 10 children under 5 suffer from severe acute malnutrition or SAM.

Three in 10 children (32.8%) are underweight; 6 out of 10 women (65.9%) between 15 and 49 years old suffer from anemia.

“We leave the house early in the morning, we cannot keep up with what our children eat, with a meager salary, we cannot provide nutrition and we come home late at night. Without good food, our children have low immunity. “said Anjana Jaal, a tea garden. worker at the Chandmari tea plantation in Tinsukia.

The vaccination status in Assam’s 800 tea gardens is a further cause for concern — out of 10 lakh workers, only 55,000 received both doses, while 6.5 lakh received only. a.

Unvaccinated miners, with low immunity in tea gardens, are more exposed to the virus – so the spotlight of Poshan Maah is on them.

“In the Poshan Maah camps, we identified children with a low level of nutrition, 80 to 90 percent, and transferred them to the center,” said Nivedita Moran, nutritionist.

The Poshan on Wheels drive was launched in 2018. In its fourth year, Assam reinvented it, to also deploy its findings on malnutrition against Covid.

“Our goal has also been to educate them about good health and hygiene practices and we tell them that the best is to grow and eat in your vegetable garden and eat green vegetables, herbs,” says Rakhi Burman, a Anganwadi supervisor from Tinsukia district.

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