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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » IV. National Mechanisms » Child Related Policies » National Nutrition Policy 1993

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The nutrition policy of 1993 outlines the nutritional status of India and the importance of such a document. At the time in 1993 there were already a number of mechanisms in place to address the issue of mal-nutrition and under-nutrition such as the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Special Nutrition Programme, and Wheat Based Nutrition Programme etc. The policy outlines a few additional provisions to ensure proper nutrition of all populations.

Under the direct, short term services section the policy calls for the need to expand the ICDS and similar programmes to cover the actual population of children in India. It is also required that mothers be given the proper information and support to provide for their children by growth monitoring for effective nutrition. Adolescent girls and expecting mothers also need to be taken into the purview of programmes. Foods provided to society need to fortify against nutrient loss, low cost nutritious food needs to be produced for poorer families, and programmes should attempt to address and prevent nutrient deficiencies especially among women, expecting and nursing mothers and children.

Under indirect long term and structural changes the policy calls for the establishment of food security reserves. The dietary patterns of people need to be adjusted for better health by producing healthier food, increasing agriculture input to yield high nutrient foods, and aligning the food and agricultural policies to the nutritional needs of the nation. There is a need for poverty alleviation programmes and a functional public distribution system to ensure that poor families are capable of buying food. There is need for basic land reforms to address the needs of the landless poor. Health services under the Health and Family welfare Ministry also ties into the nutritional needs of the populations and hence should be strengthened. Awareness about basic health and nutrition is vital to a healthier population. There is also a need to strengthen surveillance of nutrition especially of children, adolescent girls and pregnant mothers. Other areas that require government implementation, intervention and assistance is monitoring of programmes, administrating minimum wage, insuring effective community participation, and education.

To ensure the implementation of this policy it outlines the need for inter-ministerial coordination through the establishment of a committee, the constitution of a National Nutrition Council, various tasks for the State governments, and proper monitoring of children's nutritional status.

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