Ahmedabad: As many as 56,264 people in more than 640 villages across 12 Indian states have been benefited from the nutrition program organized by the Adani Foundation during Poshan Maah (Nutrition Month), observed in September every year under the Government of India’s POSHAN Abhiyaan.
An all-women Adani Foundation team of over 400 community volunteers, called SuPoshan Sanginis, reached out to the beneficiaries at 14 CSR locations in India under Fortune SuPoshan, a nationwide project by Adani Wilmar.
In August 2021, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) had announced that this year’s month-long event would be ‘Thematic Poshan Maah’. The entire month of September had weekly themes for a focused and assimilated approach towards improving holistic nutrition. The activities carried out under the Fortune SuPoshan project were in alignment with these weekly themes.
Poshan Maah happened at an opportune time when the second wave of Covid had devastated people, adversely impacting nutrition security leading to a rise in malnutrition at all levels.
Outreach activities like anthropometric measurements for children below five years of age were conducted. In all, 7,699 children were screened, of which 432 (5.6%) were identified as having Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 556 (7.2%) having Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) across 14 locations. Also, indigenous nutritious recipes were promoted and Poshan Vatikaas (kitchen gardens) were developed.
As COVID cases decreased, the Fortune SuPoshan project intensified its community-based approach to deal with intergenerational malnutrition during September through multiple activities involving pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls, men, family members, and caretakers of children.
More than 1,000 saplings were planted at the household level, 575 Nutri-gardens were developed, 463 cooking demonstrations using Take Home Ration (THR) and local foods were conducted, 7,138 family counseling sessions were organized for 2,630 pregnant women and lactating mothers, 3,128 adolescent girls, and 1,380 families of children with SAM and MAM, 5,022 Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) demonstrations were held, and 436 Yoga sessions were conducted for 5,782 people.
Other activities included slogan writing, quizzes, healthy recipe competitions, and awareness campaigns on the importance of regional foods for sustainable change. Several capacity-building sessions for SuPoshan Sanginis were also held during the month.
The SuPoshan project promotes behavioral change with a focus on curbing anemia and the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. It targets infants (up to five years of age), adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
Focusing on the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, the project aims to strengthen mothers’ capacities in learning correct breastfeeding techniques, care practices, age-appropriate complementary feeding, and food habits to prevent malnutrition from the beginning.