AYUSH, WCD ministries collaborate to eliminate malnutrition
New Delhi: The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry signed an agreement with the AYUSH Ministry to work together to control the menace of malnutrition through the integration of AYUSH systems with ongoing nutrition interventions.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in the presence of Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik at a video conference, according to a statement.
The AYUSH Ministry will provide support to beneficiaries of the umbrella Integrated Child Development Services programme of the women and child development ministry, it said.
"Convergence between the WCD ministry and the Ministry of AYUSH will help address malnutrition through the principles and practices of ayurveda, yoga and other AYUSH systems, and provide context specific solutions for holistic well being of women and children," it said.
While the AYUSH ministry will provide technical guidance and support for the implementation of various interventions for addressing malnutrition, including developing nutritious recipes based on regional and climatic preferences, principles, and practices under AYUSH systems, the WCD ministry will enable outreach of AYUSH systems through Anganwadi centers, the statement said.
Initially, a pilot project will be conducted in 1,000 Anganwadi centers each in a few states, which can be up-scaled later in a phased manner, it added.
The collaborative efforts will also include setting up of herbal gardens with a live demonstration to beneficiaries on how to use them through various home-based preparations. Yoga sessions would also be conducted at Anganwadi center, the statement said.
Describing the MoU between the two ministries as a milestone in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition, Irani said that along with the target of having a nutri-garden in each Anganwadi centre, medicinal gardens will also be developed in identified Anganwadi centres.
"Women and children will get the benefit of Yoga classes in AWCs (Anganwadi centres). She expressed optimism that together science and Ayurveda will help in achieving optimum nutritional standards among the target groups," the statement said.
Naik said that AYUSH practices are deep-rooted in Indian tradition and he expressed appreciation that the WCD Ministry and the AYUSH Ministry have come together with the common objective to eliminate malnutrition and improve the health of people, especially women and children, it said.