New Delhi, September 01, 2020.
Adequate and nutritious food is intrinsic to healthy life. However, lack of access to required nutrition remains a reality in India causing health and developmental problems such as stunting, wasting, anaemia, obesity, etc. Recognising the need for a holistic discussion on its diverse aspects, the Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, a premier think tank promoting health for all, will organise a mega virtual conclave with policy makers, experts and entrepreneurs Bharat Nutrition Week from 1st to 7th September, 2020, the first week of ‘National Nutrition Month’.
Aiming to raise the awareness and discussion around nutrition among children, a fact highlighted by hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘Mann ki Baat’ broadcast, Bharat Nutrition Week will have a special segment titled ‘Bharat Nutrition Quiz Show with School Kids’, where students from all over India will participate. “We have a maxim – “Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam” which means that mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake. Nutrition and proper nourishment play a big role in helping children and students to attain their optimum potential and to show their mettle. For children to be well nourished, the mother needs to receive proper nourishment. Nutrition merely does not only imply eating, but getting essential nutrients like salts, vitamins etc.,” hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the latest ‘Mann ki Baat’.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale will Inaugurate the event on 1st September while other central ministers including hon’ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), and Chairman, Executive Board, WHO, Sushri Debasree Chaudhuri; and hon’ble Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh, among others are expected to join during the week.
The multi-stakeholder digital event will host panel discussions with around 100 speakers including government officials of various ministries and institutions; policy experts of WHO and UNICEF; industry leaders, researchers, and medical practitioners for over 60 hours to deliberate on the pressing issues related to availability and access to nutrition. It will cover diverse aspects ranging from evolving nutrition needs of various segments of society, tackling new post-COVID malnutrition and food security challenges for rural households, labelling and availability of nutritional information, responsible agriculture, to the role of food in disease prevention. Discussion forums involving leading dieticians, nutritionists, food entrepreneurs and influencers will be held under ‘Good Food Talk Show’ while ‘Healthy Khayega India’, a special live session, will host celebrity chefs.
“Nutrition is the most important component for sustenance that helps us continue with the work we do and boosts our immunity to prevent diseases. However, in the past decade-and-a-half, we have noticed a new trend of nutritional imbalance in India, especially in urban areas where people are developing disease by taking wrong nutrition that is rich in refined components, excessive sugar and salt, and harmful fats. This dichotomy of nutritional imbalance in India complicates the problem that may not be addressed in the right spirit with conventional solutions,” says Mr. Kamal Narayan, CEO, Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council.
Lack of nutrition can cause malnutrition and undernutrition in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers that cause long-term health issues in both the mother and her child. The issue of undernutrition and malnutrition has been prioritised by successive governments, starting with the overarching Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) that was launched in 1975 and has served over 7.86 crore children (below the age of 6 years) and 1.86 crore pregnant and lactating mothers.
‘Bharat Nutrition Week’ is being hosted with support from Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer (ARTIST), WWW Foundation, World of Wellbeing (WOW), and Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). The event will culminate on 7th September with Bharat Nutrition Awards 2020, honouring organizations, institutions and individuals for their contribution in developing innovative products, conducting new research, grassroot-level initiatives for women, children and elderly people, and spreading awareness and educational programs.