Saturday, 25 January 2014

Smt. Krishna Tirath launches the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Programme (MSNP) and Nutrition Resource Platform (NRP) on the occasion of National Girl Child Day

The Women and Child Development Minister, Smt Krishna Tirath
The Women and Child Development Minister, Smt Krishna Tirath launched the Multi Sectoral Nutrition Programme (MSNP) and National Resource Platform (NRP) on the occasion of National Girl Child Day, here today. 

The National Girl Child Day is celebrated on 24th January to commemorate the day when late Smt. Indira Gandhi was sworn in as the first woman Prime Minister of the country.

 This year’s theme of Girl Child Day is ‘Safety and Development of girl child’. 

Speaking at the occasion Smt. Krishna Tirath said that the Multi -Sectoral Nutrition Programme (MSNP) aims to bring inter-sectoral convergence and coherence in policy, planning and action with core focus on both direct interventions and indirect interventions for maternal and child under nutrition, thus providing a continuum of care and follow a life cycle approach. 

The programme will be implemented as a special intervention in 200 high burden districts spread over 19 States, beginning with 100 districts in the current financial year, she added. 

The Minister also launched the Nutrition Resource Platform (NRP) that aims to collect, collate and make available resources and materials on nutrition and child development to various stakeholders. 

It will also be an interactive knowledge resource base which facilitates real time interaction, exchange of ideas and discussions. NRP is functional at National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) and is a virtual repository with the support of Food and Nutrition Board and NIC. 

Smt. Tirath said that child sex ratio in the 0-6 year age group declined steeply from 927 in 2001 to 919 in 2011 implying that millions of girls went missing in just a decade. 

The practice of child marriage is still prevalent in the country as 47 % of women in the age 20-24 were married before the age 18.Thus the Ministry has embarked on a multidimensional strategy for the welfare of the girl child for bringing about attitudinal changes in the society towards the girl child through legislative, preventive, advocacy and programmatic inputs. 

Highlighting the success of Sabla scheme the Minister said that one crore sablas will be trained as Ahimsa Messengers through NIPCCD and they will help to spread awareness on gender issues. 

The Minister stated that the efforts of Ministry of Women and Child Development are to ensure the survival of the girl child and her right to be born and nurture her so that she grows up to be an informed, secure and productive participating member of the community and society. 

Smt. Tirath said that all private institutions should also provide child care leave to their women employees so that they can look after their children better and help in development of the nation. 

Speaking at the occasion the Secretary WCD, Shri A.K Jain said that the Ministry aims to develop girl child as a National resource. He said that poor nutrition starts before birth and is carried on to adolescents and then to adults as mothers. 

This intergenerational cycle of undernourishment is more likely to experience health failures. There are problems like gender discrimination, early marriage, etc which lead to a cycle of multiple deprivation for girl. The recent initiative named Multi Sectoral Nutrition Programme (MSNP) will help to overcome the under nutrition in girls. 

Rs 1213 crores have been approved for the programme during 12th Plan period and 75% of this amount i.e. around Rs 944crores will be provided by the Government of India. The NRP is an e-platform and is a valuable source of information. The Ministry will see to it that the schemes are properly implemented, he added. 

On the occasion cultural programmes were organised by National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) which included Nehru Bal Sangh, 2014 Declaration from Mini India including signatures signed by 600 children culminating with ‘Adhikaarin’, a beautiful choreographed presentation and a group song in Hindi on the theme of declining child sex ratio and welfare of the girl child by Read India which is a thematic partner of NMEW. 

Present at occasion were Ms. Preeti Sudan, Additional Secretary WCD, Ms. K Ratna Prabha, Additional Secretary WCD, various officials from WCD Ministry, officials from NIPCCD, NMEW, Planning Commission and State Governments. 

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