Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh was forging ahead on inclusive development, good governance, health and education sectors and there was need for coordinated efforts to take state on the new heights. He was presiding over one-day state level workshop on Poshan Abhiyan (nutrition campaign) organised here at Hotel Peterhoff by the Women and Child Development department.The Chief Minister said that the malnutrition in the children was a big challenge and serious efforts were needed to address this problem so that we could realize the dream of a healthy society. He appealed to start Poshan Abhiyan from every household and giving it a form of mass movement. He said that the rate of stunted children in the state was 36 percent in year 2016 which had now come down to 26 percent and the line departments should work in coordination to bring it further down to 15 percent by 2022.He said that Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandna scheme had been launched in five districts of the state and would be started in other districts in a phased manner.Jai Ram Thakur said that a committee would be constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to monitor and review the Poshan Abhiyan on a regular basis.Stressing on the need of awareness regarding nutrition, the Chief Minister stressed that every person should associate himself with this campaign.He honoured Deputy Commissioners of Bilaspur, Mandi and Kangra districts for their outstanding contributions under Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandna Yojna and also released the publicity material of the Poshan Abhiyan.
Member, Niti Ayog Dr. Vinod Paul said that the Prime Minister had started this programme with a vision to make a healthy society and a strong nation. He said that more than 50 percent children were anemic in the country. He said that breast feeding up to two years was must for the new born so that the chances of diarrhea, pneumonia and weakness could be avoided. He added that first 1000 days of life were the key period of rapid brain growth and maturation. He said linear growth failure in this period was associated with adult growth.Speaking on the occasion, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Rajeev Saizal said that the month of September was being celebrated as 'Rashtriya Poshan Maah' with a aim of reaching to every household with message "Har Ghar Poshan Tyohar". He said that Rs. 5000 were being given to the pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state under Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandna Yojna. He said 1.45 lakh women had uploaded their applications online for taking benefit of this scheme and a sum of Rs. 17.27 crore had been credited to their bank accounts.The minister said that Himachal Pradesh had been judged as best performing state in Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandna Yojna in the northern states.Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Nisha Singh welcomed the dignitaries and participants while Director Hans Raj Sharma presented the vote of thanks.Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Chairperson Child Welfare Council Payal Vaidya, Deputy Commissioners, other senior officers of various departments and Anganwari workers and various stake holders participated in this workshop.