Ministry of AYUSH and WCD join hands to emend the health of women and children in India

Addressing the holistic well-being of women and children at the grass root level, an MoU has been signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development

September 11, 2020

MoU seeks to address the issue of malnutrition amongst women and children.

Done by establishing a pilot project of 1000 Anganwadis across different states.

These Anganwadis shall be provided with POSHAN Vatikas & Yoga Centres.

India currently has 1.4 million Anganwadi Centres.

The Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to tackle the challenging issue of malnutrition amongst women and children, as part of the POSHAN Abhiyaan. POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is a flagship programme of the government of India and falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Women & Child Development to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, and Shri Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development signed the MOU in the presence of Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for WCD. Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Ministry of AYUSH also joined the ceremony through video conferencing. This merger was done with an aim to discuss malnutrition among women and children through the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and other AYUSH systems, and provide specific solutions for their holistic well-being.

While the AYUSH Ministry will provide technical guidance and support for the implementation of various interventions for addressing malnutrition, including developing healthy recipes based on regional and climatic preferences, the WCD Ministry will ensure that the AYUSH systems reach the needy through Anganwadi centres. This MoU is a milestone which will enable the establishment of POSHAN Vatika (Nutri-gardens) and medicinal gardens in identified Anganwadi centres. Initially around 1000 such Anganwadi centres will be started spread across a few states, which can be gradually upscaled. These centres also have provisions of Yoga sessions which would help the beneficiaries receive optimal nutritional standards. The worker, designated as DHATRI- ‘Dedicated Health Activist to Replenish the Innutrition’, provides the Ayurveda nutrition message to the community at grass-root level.

AYUSH practices (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddhi and Homeopathy) find themselves deeply rooted in Indian tradition. The two ministries have joined hands with the common objective to eliminate malnutrition and improve the health of people, especially that of women, mostly pregnant and lactating mothers, and children. Since India has the largest network of traditional healthcare systems, it has given the ministry leverage to integrate the various relevant systems of medicine. To generate awareness of the same via digital media, the ministries have decided to pitch the hashtag #Ayush4Anganwadi.