Gangtok, September 30(IPR): Social Justice and Welfare Department organised a programme to mark the closing of the month-long Rashtriya Poshan Maah 2020, at a local hotel in Ranipool today.
The programme was attended by Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice and Welfare Department Shri M.K. Sharma as the Chief Guest. Secretary Social Justice and Welfare Department, Shri Tshewang Gyachho Bhutia, Principal Director, Shri Phuchung Bhutia, Joint Director, Health Department, Dr Anita Bhutia, Deputy Director cum State Nodal Officer, Poshan Abhiyaan, Shri G.M. Subba along with all the senior officials of the department, representatives from line departments, students, Anganwadi and Asha workers were present during the function.
This year’s Poshan Maah theme was ‘Together Towards Kuposhan Mukt Bharat’.
In his keynote address, Hon’ble Minister, Shri M.K. Sharma thanked the various stakeholders including Department functionaries and grassroots Anganwadi and Asha workers for coming forward and working towards the improvement of the health of women and children in the State. He said that the month-long programme has helped in creating more awareness on the importance of nutrition among the masses and brought about various underlying issues relating to malnutrition to the forefront. He suggested various ways to identify focus areas during the first 1000 days and said that basic idea needs to be strengthened and more focus and care should be given to lactating mothers.
The Minister also spoke on the awareness regarding the importance of early breastfeeding, measures for reducing malnutrition in young women and children and the importance of sanitation and hygiene. He suggested the participants work collectively with the Agriculture and Horticulture departments to setup Nutri gardens and sought ways to make the best out of the locally available resources in all the ICDS centres across the state. He spoke on the importance and benefits of nutritious food in daily lives and also encouraged the participants to consume locally grown nutritious food products. He said that all should work jointly to make the people more aware in order to adopt healthy means to tackle malnutrition. Highlighting the importance of nutrition, he informed that the department has been working diligently to reach the target beneficiaries and added that more focus should be given on active community participation. He further pointed out that digitisation work is under process and added that periodic monitoring of ongoing projects should be the main focus and priority of the Department.
Secretary, Social Justice and Welfare Department, Shri Tshewang Gyatchho Bhutia in his address highlighted on the importance of Nutri garden and stated that around 1100 Centres have adopted Nutri garden on a mission mode across the state. He spoke briefly on the future course of action of the Department. He then lauded the ICDS division for their incredible performance during the month-long programme and added that the department is tracking various activities under Poshan Maah through activity mapping and reporting through a dedicated mobile app.
During the programme, Principal Director, Shri Phuchung Bhutia briefly reviewed and explained the aims and objectives of Poshan Maah 2020 to the participants.
He highlighted the importance of having nutritious food for the good health of young children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women. He further highlighted on the district wise activities carried out under Poshan Maah 2019 and 2020 which included signature campaigns, identification and tracking of children with Severely Acute Malnutrition (SAM), conducting plantation drives, development of Nutri gardens in Anganwadi Centres, organising counselling programmes and essay contests etc.
The function also saw the presentation of a documentary on Poshan Maah highlighting on various activities undertaken under Rashtriya Poshan Maah 2020. A Recipe Booklet titled “Nutritionally Yours from the Highlands of Sikkim” was released by the Hon’ble Minister during the course of the programme. The closing ceremony also featured distribution of prizes, awards and uniforms to students and Anganwadi and Asha workers by the Hon’ble Minister. The winners under various categories were also awarded which included elocution, painting, cooking and essay etc at schools and college level. Chungthang Block received the award for the best performing block while Singtam Block was awarded for the Best Media Campaign.
Later, the vote of thanks was proposed by State Nodal Officer, Poshan Abhiyaan, Shri G.M. Subba.