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 POSHAN Abhiyaan in rural India through digitisation, Unicef and DEF have come together to organise community dialogues on POSHAN Abhiyaan in 10 states — Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Post a four-day Training of Trainerx (ToT) of the Master Trainers, a plan was chalked down to cover DEF’s 75 digital resource centres in 75 different locations via 200 POSHAN Preraks (POSHAN entrepreneurs).
The trainings began in January across India. A POSHAN Prerak is responsible for beginning the dialogues in their villages based on the key messages and the communication material (developed by the Union Government and provided by Unicef) shared with them by their respective Master Trainers. The key messages are discussion on balanced diet, sanitation, menstruation, hygiene, importance of antenatal check-ups, significance of optimal breastfeeding, immunisation, diarrhoea management, girl education, to right age of marriage, etc. covering especially the four target beneficiary groups – pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and adolescents.
These community dialogues would be laid out in a time span of two months. The idea is to capture the qualitative behavioural changes which might occur in the lives of people with respect to health. For this MeraApp is adopted to understand the initial and the final stages via a pre and eventually a post assessment of the beneficiaries who shall be attending these dialogues.
The initiative can be observed as a part of the larger Jan Andolan. The movement started off by the Union Government, wherein multiple stakeholders – from the four target beneficiary groups, to frontline health workers, families, civil society organisations, state governments, volunteers, celebrities et al have distinct roles to play in making the POSHAN Abhiyaan reach every household across the country.