Poshan card to ensure uninterrupted food for pregnant women and children during migration
To ensure that children, pregnant women and nursing mothers enjoy uninterrupted feeding even when they migrate with their families for work, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) have introduced a ‘poshan card’ for facilitate the transfer of services from one anganwadi to another.
State Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) Yashomati Thakur said two cards, green and pink, had been introduced specifically for migrants in order to map their movement and continue their nutrition. “When they migrate, they often go off our radar and are not registered with the anganwadi in another city,” she said.
Officials said Anganwadi in rural and tribal areas where a high flow of migrants is recorded will issue a green card to children, pregnant and breastfeeding women. “This will contain full details of their weight, anemia, (other) health issues, history of malnutrition and treatment, as well as details of taking folic acid tablets, etc.” said Shobha Shelar, WCD District Manager for Mumbai Suburbs. Shelar said most cases of migration have been seen among workers at brick kilns and sugar cane farms.
Once the beneficiary reaches a town, the local Anganwadi worker will fill out a pink card giving details of the continuation of services. Shelar said the poshan card will ensure that the beneficiary does not need to re-enroll in anganwadi.
Before the introduction of the poshan card, children and women had to go to the anganwadi to register for the ration. With the card in hand, they can now get a ration of Anganwadi that suits them best.
Data up to April shows that of 60.64 lakh children under the age of six surveyed statewide, 10% were underweight. This included 5.24 lakh moderately underweight and 83,909 severely underweight children. In absolute numbers, the most severely malnourished children were found in Nandurbar (11,008), Nashik (8,749) and Palghar (5,860).
WCD officials said they realized that the highest proportion of malnutrition was among children from migrant families. “The poshan card not only aims to promote institutional engagement, but can also be used as a means of tracking seasonal migrant families and children in the absence of a digital tracking system,” a ministry official said. WCD.
At the end of April, the ICDS had asked all districts to allocate funds for the printing of the poshan cards.