FOR REGULAR INTAKE OF NUTRITIOUS VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Covid 19 pandemic induced lockdown has stressed the importance of locally available things as transportation of goods was severely affected. Prime Minister gave a call for going ‘vocal for local’ and stressed on the importance of becoming self-reliant with various initiatives under Aatma Nirbhar scheme. September is being observed as Poshan Maah Nutrition Month every year. The main motto is to find severely acute malnourished – SAM children and treat them with supplements and nutritious food and to set up nutri – gardens /kitchen gardens. According to World health organisation- WHO standards, SAM children are those who have weight for height ratio below 3.
During the Poshan Maah- Nutrition month, SAM children are identified through special drive by Anganwadi workers. There will be extensive capacity building drives for Anganwadi workers covering overall Severely acute Malnourished/SAM Management. Awareness is being created and community based sensitization for early identification of Severely Malnourished/SAM children is being done. That is why alongwith identification of SAM children, setting up of nutritious kitchen gardens are also encouraged in the home backyard, anganwadi centres, schools and at community level too.
Awareness is also created among women especially pregnant women about importance of nutrition for a healthy child. In Ariyalur, district collector Smt D Rathna while inaugurating Nutrition Month exhibition, spoke about the need for pregnant women adding at least 10 Kg weight and eat good nutritious food to prevent being anaemic. There are 774 Anganwadi centres in six blocks of Ariyalur district. Anganwadi workers from these centres create awareness about nutrition among pregnant women in their area. People who attended the nutrition awareness programme were given seeds of brinjal, tomato, lady’s finger, peas, bottlegourd and organic manure to set up kitchen garden. Integrated child development services (ICDS) scheme , Trichy officials are encouraging setting up of nutri / kitchen gardens in backyards , according to Project Officer Smt T Bhuvaneswari. She said that there are 1850 Anganwadi centres in Trichy. She said that with the help of ICDS workers more than 1314 nutri-gardens were set up in households, 735 nutri-gardens in Anganwadi centres and 155 nutri-gardens in community level.
Smt Padmasree said that she is growing many types of vegetables in terrace garden and backyard. She said that she is growing bottle gourd, snake gourd, brinjal, beans, salad cucumber, cauliflower, lady’s finger, bitter gourd, green chillies, peas, tomatoes. Organic manure including cow dung is used. She said that especially during pandemic lockdown time locally grown vegetables including moringa leaves, keerai – spinach were of great use. It ensures nutritious food easily available through home grown vegetables, she added. Children are also getting involved in gardening as they are at home during the lockdown period.
Nutrition is important for strengthening self-immunity which is crucial to combat pandemics. Awareness about nutrition is needed for the fight against malnutrition. Kitchen gardens will help to ensure availability of affordable nutritious food for all in near time and the people will be well prepared for any health emergency while growing self sufficient too.
Read this release in: Tamil