High malnutrition persists despite surplus food; behavioural change needed: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman
New Delhi, Apr 13: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Tuesday said high malnutrition persists in the country despite being a food-surplus nation, and the situation can only improve through "behavioural change" among people.
Launching the Poshan Gyan, a national digital repository on health and nutrition, Kumar further said that Poshan Gyan is an extremely important initiative and can help make nutrition a 'Jan Andolan', as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Real change can be brought about only through changing behaviours on the ground. High malnutrition persists despite India being a food-surplus nation, which points towards a clear need for behavioural change," he said.
Also speaking at the event, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the challenge of nutrition in India should be solved by targeting those especially vulnerable, such as pregnant women, and children below the age of 6 years, through the application of behavioural insights.
Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) secretary Ram Mohan Mishra lauded the establishment of the Poshan Gyan portal, stating that knowledge is most useful when it aids in the betterment of society.
The crowd sourcing feature of the site, he said, can be used to disseminate nationwide solutions that have proved successful in local contexts, such as the use of a traditional grape-based concoction that was recently found to be efficacious in combating anaemia in Tamil Nadu.
According to an official statement, the Poshan Gyan repository was conceptualised as a resource, enabling search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.
Content for the repository was sourced from the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Development and developmental organizations, it added.