Srinagar, Aug 8: Jammu and Kashmir has received a total of Rs 5.11 crore over the last three years under the Poshan Abhiyaan initiative, according to the official data from the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Launched on March 8, 2018, Poshan Abhiyaan aims to enhance the nutritional status of children under-6 years of age, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers by adopting a comprehensive and results-driven approach.
The financial allocation to J&K reveals a disbursement of Rs 4.92 crore during the fiscal year 2020-21 and an additional Rs 19.20 lakh during the fiscal year 2022-23. Notably, J&K did not receive any funds during the fiscal year 2021-22.
Mission Director, ICDS, Rubina Kousar told Greater Kashmir that for the last 3 years, J&K exceeded its target under the PM’s flagship programme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).
She said that Poshan Vatikas had been established in all anganwadi centers, striving to combat these health challenges effectively.
“In alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Early Child Care Education (ECCE) has been introduced, bolstering the holistic development of children,” Kousar said.
She said that 31,568 anemia checking camps had been held in convergence with the Health Department since 2021.
“As part of the Saksham Anganwadi Programme, a transformative initiative, 136 Anganwadi Centers from the aspirational districts of Kupwara and Baramulla have been selected for comprehensive development. The programme includes provisions such as LED lighting, RO Water Purifiers, Water Harvesting systems, artistic paintings, and Poshan Vatikas,” Kousar said.
She said that after a hiatus of five years, a meticulous engagement process was initiated based solely on academic merit for both Sanginis (anganwadi workers) and Sahayikas (anganwadi helpers).
“Nearly 5000 vacancies were identified and the engagement process is currently underway,” Kousar said.
She said that J&K had demonstrated a commendable implementation record, achieving a 100 percent adoption rate of the Poshan Tracker system.
“Furthermore, almost 97 percent of beneficiaries have been successfully Aadhar-verified, providing a robust system for efficient service delivery,” Kousar said.
She said that all Anganwadi centers had been geo-tagged, ensuring accurate and accountable service provision.
“The endeavor to enhance service quality extends to the provision of growth monitoring devices and smartphones, which have been supplied to all Anganwadi Centers,” Kousar said.
Poshan Abhiyan has been implemented across all 36 states and union territories, utilising tools such as the Poshan Tracker, an ICT application that serves more than 13.9 lakh anganwadi centres and over 10.33 crore beneficiaries, of which nearly 94 percent are Aadhar-verified.
The latest NFHS-5 report (2019-21) indicates an improvement in nutrition indicators for children under-5 years of age, with reductions in wasting from 21 percent (NFHS-4) to 19.3 percent (NFHS-5), under-nutrition from 35.7 percent (NFHS-4) to 32.1 percent (NFHS-5), and stunting from 38.4 percent (NFHS-4) to 35.5 percent (NFHS-5).
Remarkably, the data recorded in the Poshan Tracker for the ICT application of Mission Poshan 2.0 indicates that in June 2023, approximately 7 crore children were measured in the country, with 7 percent classified as wasted and 19 percent as underweight.
These figures represent a notable improvement compared to the NFHS indicators.