The State Tribal Department has initiated a unique program titled, ‘Community Action for Nutrition (CAN)’ in order to empower tribal communities to improve nutrition and strengthen awareness regarding nutrition related services.
Under this initiative, seven districts from the state namely Pune, Raigad, Nashik, Thane, Palghar, Nandurbar and Gadchiroli will participate under this initiative. Their target will be around 400 villages in respective districts selected for the program.
A major role will be played by ASHA workers in these villages. As part of this initiative the workers will be paid Rs 1000 for counselling parents on undernourishment and helping them to give their children proper nutrients and food.
The officials informed that this decision was taken in the wake of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) whose figures revealed that among the children in Maharashtra, 33 per cent are stunted, 25 per cent are wasted, and 50 per cent are anaemic.
“Monitoring the scheme and regular fund transfer are important,” said Ravindra Talpe, a social worker who works in the field of malnutrition.
Aashish Bharati, Assistant Director, State Family Welfare Bureau, Pune, said, “This program is a decentralised approach to fight malnutrition. Effective counselling is best intervention to fight malnutrition.
He added, “Also, the ASHA workers will help spread effective awareness and convince parents about the role of nutrition in child’s development. The continuous follow up will help to keep effective check on targeted families.”