Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Women and Child Development
05-December-2014 15:08 IST
The Government programme to tackle malnutrition among children and women now on a mission mode: Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
Focus on 200 high burden districts through a Community based management programme

The Government has identified 200 high burden districts in the country for a frontal attack on malnutrition among Children and Women through a Community based management programme. Special camps known as ‘Sneha Shivirs’ are being held in these districts which are designed on a community based approach for the prevention and management of moderate and severe under nutrition.This information was given by the Union Minister of Women & Child Development ,Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in an oral reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. Under this programme, the Sneha Shivirs are to be serviced through an additional Anganwadi Worker/Nutrition Counsellor at the Anganwadi Center, she said.

The programme, now taken up on a mission mode, will begin to show substantial results within a year, the Minister added.

The scheme provides for holding of Sneha Shivirs at an Anganwadi Centre (AWC) selected from amongst a cluster of 4-5 AWCs and is organized in areas where the number of moderately and severely underweight children is high. Its overall goal is to ensure quick rehabilitation of undernourished children; enable families to sustain rehabilitation; and prevent future under nutrition by changing behaviors in child care, feeding and health seeking.

Giving more information the Minister said that the key strategies include i) Retraining of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Supervisors; ii) 100% weight monitoring and tracking using growth charts and the Mother and Child Protection Card; iii) involving the community in identification and management; iv) showcasing positive practices and v) setting up of nutritional care and counseling sessions. Each Sneha Shivir comprises of a session of 12 days in a month followed by 18 days’ home based practices. During the sessions, the best practices prevalent in the community are learnt by caregivers through a process of “Learning by Doing”.

The ANM/Doctor under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is responsible for health check up of all the underweight children reporting to Sneha Shivirs. For those children who are attending the Shivir and still not showing signs of improvement, the ANM or a doctor is responsible for deciding on type of referral or treatment facilities required as well as linking the child to appropriate health care/treatment.

Replying to a supplementary question, the Minister explained that the Sneha Shivirs and other related activities including building Anganwadi Centers is not on the list of schemes to be supervised by the MPs at the grassroots level. She assured that the matter will be looked into, to include the same in the monitoring list of MPs.

Replying to another question on the quality of food provided at the Anganwadi Centers, the Minister said that the Ministry is working on a model to provide healthy and nourishing food to Children and Women at the Anganwadi Centers in a manner that is best suited to the local and regional conditions.

During the years 2013-14 and 2014-15, 1,61,665 and 2,07,189 Sneha Shivir camps have been sanctioned respectively. An amount of Rs. 9619 lakhs was released to States in 2013-14 and 12328 lakhs in 2014-15 till date for holding Sneha Shivirs.

The above information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Gandhi in a reply to a starred question in Lok Sabha today.