Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh on Friday directed the Administrative Secretaries of the converging departments to make the ‘Tandarust Punjab including Poshan Abhiyaan’ as a mass movement in close coordination with all the Deputy Commissioners across the state.Chairing a meeting of ‘Poshan Abhiyaan Punjab’, the Chief Secretary asked the Principal Secretary Social Security, Women and Child Development to organise ‘Poshan Maah’ starting from 1st to 30th of September in line with the spirit of Tandarust Punjab focusing on the activities in the core departments especially Education, Health and Family Welfare, Water Supply and Sanitation and Rural Development and Panchayats. Karan Avtar Singh emphasised the need to percolate the message of this programme at the grassroots level so as to sensitise the people about health and hygiene of first 1000 days of a child besides focusing on anaemia prevention, nutritional diet, diarrhoea management, hand wash and sanitation. It was also suggested in the meeting that prabhat pheris, poshan melas, nukkad nataks, youth club meetings, school based and public events should be organised to create awareness amongst the masses about the significance of ‘Tandarust Punjab and Poshan Abhiyaan’.Notably, the 10 converging departments, which have been mandated to implement this programme in a holistic manner included; Social Security, Women & Child Development, Skill Development, Rural Development & Panchayats, Housing & Urban Affairs, Youth Affairs & Sports, Education, Agriculture, Health & Family Welfare, Water Supply & Sanitation and Information & Public Relations.
Underscoring the need to publicise the activities related to the ‘Poshan Maah’, the Chief Secretary asked to make use of different mediums of publicity to disseminate the underlying objectives of this programme in a meaningful manner. He also directed the Social Security, Women and Child Development to chalk out various activities to be undertaken in sync with line departments at village, block and district level to elicit maximum participation of the targeted audience especially the women and children.The Chief Secretary further instructed the Principal Secretary Social Security, Women and Child Development to organise these activities efficaciously in achieving the targets to prevent and reduce under nutrition in children in the age group of 0-6 years by 6% @ 2% per annum besides reduction in prevalence of anaemia among young children (6-59 months) by 9% @ 3% per annum. Likewise, these activities should focus on reducing the prevalence of anaemia among women and adolescent girls in the age group of 15-49 by the rate of 9% @ 3% per annum besides reducing low birth rate by 6% @ 2% per annum.Prominent amongst other who attended the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary Sports and Youth Services Sanjay Kumar, Financial Commissioner Rural Development and Panchayats Seema Jain, Principal Secretary Social Security Women and Children Raji P Srivastva, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development D.K. Tewari, Secretary Information and Public Relations Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Special Secretary Health and Family Welfare Manvesh Singh Sidhu, Special Secretary Higher Education MP Arora, Director Technical Education Parveen Thind and Director General School Education Mohammad Tayyab.