National Nutrition Month / Rashtriya Poshan Maah - Chandigarh
Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Chandigarh
Chandigarh, though a fairly educated city, still faces its own unique set of issues that demand to be addressed; for instance, the city struggles with a high incidence of anemia. Under the Poshan Maah vertical of the Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) of the Government of India, an effective IEC campaign was designed and executed by our team on behalf of the Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development,
to make people aware about nutrition, and equip them with the requisite information and know-how to induce nutrition into both their diets and dinner table conversations.
Our Plan of Action for the Nutrition Mission was to transcend all strata of the community, and bring everyone under the fold of nutrition, including those living on the fringes of our society. The most potent means of ensuring that a message is well received mandates that the message be communicated using strong interpersonal communication and skewing the message to suit the target audience. Also, to affect a behavioural change in public, the recall value of the message has to be enhanced through community engagement strategies and media campaigns.
To cater to the needs of the sub-strata of our society, special provisions were made:
- A Mobile Anganwadi Van that delivers Anganwadi services to the children of construction workers on-site was inducted.
- An array of socio-cultural engagements were organised under the theme of Poshan to augment the permeation of the message of nutrition.
- To channelize public sentiment and transform it into a Jan-Aandolan, events with mass participation such as poshan marathons, cycle rallies, and flash mobs were organised.
- Innovative social media campaigns, such as the "Each One Feed One Challenge were employed to draw attention towards the importance of nutrition.
- Anganwadi workers held several sessions on Low Cost High Nutrition diets.
- A substantial number of anaemia check-up camps were held in the city.
In 2020, owing to the pandemic, emphasis was laid on the extensive use of social media platforms for implementing various online competitions, online awareness generation programmes, expert talks, webinars, online live sessions, etc. as well as enhancing engagement of the target population.
- The campaign was awarded two state level awards at the Rashtriya Poshan Maah Award Ceremony held by the Ministry of Women and Child Development at New Delhi.
- In the same ceremony. given the meritorious performance of the Administration and the active participation by the citizenry, Chandigarh was also felicitated with the ‘Best U.T. Award.’
The Poshan Pakhwada is a 15-day capsule of the elaborate month long Rashtriya Poshan Maah. Similar activities are conducted under this campaign.