Poshan Pathshaala Giving UP’s Rural Mothers Wings Of Nutritive Acumen

BAHRAICH || Mothers are considered those who take care of homes and the child in the family as homemakers. For Pachpedwa village of Mukeriya Gram Panchayat things are different. They feed their children at home, ensure the day’s meals are cooked and packed neatly in utensils and they leave as their co-workers knock on the door of the house to go in groups in the fields to work.

When the mother is away then the elder daughter accompanies the younger sibling at home. Bahraich which is now getting accolades for its good motherhood regimen across families has taken lessons from the much talked about Poshan Pathshala which has helped rural folk in the region understand nutrition better.

This daily routine is not just about one house but is the story of a number of households who have to do double duty to make sure that they get two square meals a day. The women of the Mahsi block at the Pachpedwa village of Bahraich are not well educated, but with the efforts of Asha Radhika Devi and Manju Devi of the village, they know how to raise children.

The mothers here are making sure that the right amount of mother’s milk is provided to the child so that the right kind of nourishment is available to the child. All this has been possible due to a campaign with mutual coordination of Health Department, Child Development and Nutrition Department, UNICEF, Pyramil Foundation, Tata Trust and the UPTSU.

A similar view can be seen in all the villages of the district. With this network proving a solid backbone, programs like Godabhrai and Annaprashan are regularly happening in Anganwadi Anganwadi centres, in which modern methods of childcare are taught to mothers.

It is these small efforts that have helped the district rank first in the state under the Nutrition Campaign Program in the year 2018-19. With good work, the central government honoured the DM, CDO, CMO and DPO. At a ceremony held in New Delhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani honoured these four officers with certificates, medals and souvenirs.

The efforts are called significant by experts given that due to the shortcomings in feeding in childhood, both the length and weight of children are reduced as per age. They become malnourished.

Reportedly for 6 months, only the mother’s milk should be given to the newborn. After this, the baby should be given a supplementary diet. Supplementary diet leads to the physical and mental development of the child and the child is protected from many diseases caused by malnutrition.

Other nutrients come with feeds of roti or rice in sweet milk or lentils without water. It can also be a mashed concoction of a mixture of ghee/oil and cooked vegetables in khichdi. Cooked kheer, vermicelli, halwa, oatmeal and any other grains made in milk. In fruits and vegetables – Mashed boiled, fried potatoes, banana, cheeku, mango, papaya. And eggs can serve a good breakfast if accepted in the family.

— Arijit Bose/Lucknow


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