Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani urged all state governments to ensure that all aspirational districts in India have a poshan vatika (nutrition garden) at anganwadi centres during the Nutrition Month which starts from September 1.
Irani made the statement last week while kicking off the month-long celebrations of the Poshan Abhiyan mission, which places special attention on Severe Acture Malnourished (SAM) children. “A Word Bank report that had been released in 2010 had revealed that India suffered a Rs 24,000 crore loss due to lack of sanitation. And that the health impact on the economy was 38 million dollars. In 2018, an Assocham study revealed that a loss of 4 per cent GDP [is incurred] annually for the country due to malnutrition. The report also found that when children suffering from malnutrition grow up and start earning, they earn 20 percent less than those who have had healthy childhoods. Our responsibility, therefore, is not just providing nutrition security, but economic security,” Irani said.