POSHAN Abhiyaan is the Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional standards among pregnant women, lactating mothers, infants, children and adolescents. In an effort to amplify the reach of the POSHAN Abhiyaan among rural communities, UNICEF and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) have come together to organise community dialogues on POSHAN Abhiyaan in the villages of India. The dialogues will be held through awareness sessions across DEF’s 75 physical digital resource centres (such as CIRCs, Soochna Seva Kendra or Smartpur, among others) in 10 states — Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
These dialogues aim to initiate a conversation in the remotest and far flung villages of India around to improve the reach of the government’s National Nutrition Mission, and will focus on 10 key themes of POSHAN Abhiyaan. These themes are antenatal check-ups; optimal breastfeeding; complementary feeding; immunization; growth monitoring & promotion; anemia prevention in children, adolescent girls and women; food fortification & micronutrients; diarrhoea management; girl education & right age of marriage; and hygiene, sanitation & safe drinking water.
The sessions will be led by a team of 200 trained rural entrepreneurs or ground staff associated with DEF who will be identified by the target groups (pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and adolescents) as POSHAN Preraks and will host two sessions per week at their centres in the village.
To ensure that POSHAN Preraks are aware and well versed with the communication material, a four-day Training of Trainers (ToT) was oragnised in New Delhi from December 26-29, 2018 for 15 Master Trainers. Each Master Trainer will be responsible for training 13 POSHAN Preraks who will then execute the delivery of content at the last mile. The ToT was designed and conducted collaboratively by UNICEF and DEF, and was undertaken by New Concept. The trainers were introduced to the content for delivery, the deliverables and the responsibilities through presentations, workshops and mock sessions to ensure in-depth engagement with community members.