To enhance community-based initiatives in educating mothers and caregivers on nutrition issues, the West Bengal government is observing National Nutrition Week till next Monday. "We are carrying out a series of convergent and well-coordinated activities in different sectors in a mission mode to address the issues which may lead to under-nutrition, especially in the socially and economically backward communities," state Women and Child Welfare Minister Dr Shashi Panja said.
The state government has mobilised their state-wide network of ICDS centres and frontline functionaries to reach out to the maximum number of people at the community level. Child rights body UNICEF has also been working closely with the state. UNICEF officials said nutrition is not confined to food only, rather refers to an interplay of health and immunisation, environmental and personal hygiene and sanitation, in addition to age appropriate nutritionally dense food and feeding practices.
"Nutrition is an issue of survival, health and development for current and succeeding generations. Children born underweight may have impaired immune function, increased risk of diseases, low learning abilities due to impaired cognitive ability, thus affecting their school performance and then productivity in their later life," Panja said. National Nutrition Week is celebrated annually from September 1 to 7.
Across all districts, activities like community-level nutrition and health promotion camps, community sensitisation sessions, cooking demonstration and recipe competition quiz shows, etc are being carried out.