File Photo

Budget Slots Rs 20,105 Crore For Mission Poshan 2.0

The existing Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) and the Poshan Abhiyan will be merged to formulate the new umbrella programme, Poshan 2.0, to combat malnutrition more effectively.

Prakash Kumar | Feb 01, 2021

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced the government’s decision to roll out a new national nutrition programme Mission Poshan 2.0 to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome in the country.

The existing Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) and the Poshan Abhiyan will be merged to formulate the new umbrella programme, Poshan 2.0, to combat malnutrition more effectively. The SNP, to be merged with the Poshan Abhiyan, is one of the six services provided under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

“To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, we will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyaan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. We shall adopt an intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts,” Union Finance Minister said in Lok Sabha on Monday while presenting Union Budget for 2021-22.

The Finance Ministry allocated Rs 24,435 crore to Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry for fiscal 2021-22. Out of this, Rs 20,105 crore was earmarked for the new national nutrition programme, ‘Saksham Anganwari and Poshan2.0’.

This comes days after results of the fifth round of national family health survey (NFHS-5) red red-flagged the issue of malnutrition and prevalence of anaemia in most of the 22 states and union territories covered in 2019-20. The survey data showed that the prevalence of anaemia among women and children have worsened in most of the 22 states and union territories since 2015-16.

In the survey, as many as 13 States which include some of the populous ones like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Kerala have shown a rise in the percentage of stunting. NHFS data also showed that percentage of wasting in many of the states. As many as 16 states and union territories have shown a rise in the percentage of underweight children below five years.

With the merger of SNP and Poshan Abhiyan, the new Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 will comprise the ICDS - Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and National Creche Scheme.

According to food technologist and public policy consultant Sahil Sharma: “Malnourishment is a silent emergency. With the Mission Poshan 2.0, the government has shown intent about improving the national nutritional status. This kind of investment in nutrition will not only help manage the growing burden of malnutrition in the country but also address various Sustainable Development Goals. Barricades and complications to undernourishment are intensely rooted in our social, economic, political and cultural problems. With a provision of INR 2700 crore for Poshan Abhiyan in this year’s budget, I am hopeful that we would be able to accelerate our efforts further in addressing malnutrition and additionally gear towards a national guideline for Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) to tackle severe acute malnutrition in India.”