loading-image Engaging Businesses to Make POSHAN Abhiyaan a Jan Andolan – Let’s Take the 1st Step- CSRBOX

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Engaging Businesses to Make POSHAN Abhiyaan a Jan Andolan – Let’s Take the 1st Step

By CSRBOX On 02 September 2019
Engaging Businesses to Make POSHAN Abhiyaan a Jan Andolan – Let’s Take the 1st Step

Taking cognizance of the alarmingly high malnutrition rates in India, the Government of India launched its flagship programme, POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission), in March 2018. This programme is designed as a multi-sectoral, targeted approach that is aimed at reducing the levels of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight in children, and also, focuses on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers, thus, holistically addressing malnutrition .

To provide an impetus to POSHAN Abhiyaan, the ‘National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges’ decided to celebrate the month of September as Rashtriya Poshan Maah (RPM). During this month activities related to nutrition awareness are expected to be carried out by all the states/UTs up to the grass root level .

The private sector, with its over 60 million employees and nearly INR 15000 crores annual CSR fund, has an expansive pool of resources at its disposal, thus, causing it to be a crucial player in making POSHAN Abhiyaan a true Jan Andolan. Hence, its participation in this movement and in the celebration of Rashtriya Poshan Maah is wholeheartedly encouraged.

Here are a few ideas that can be adopted by businesses to create awareness about nutrition (poshan) among their employees

  1. Nutritional Status Assessment of Employees: Nutritional Status of Employees (Height, Weight, BMI, Blood Pressure and Hemoglobin) could be assessed. This could be followed by a Nutrition Guidance talk by a qualified dietician based on the assessment of reports of the employees.
  2. Nutri-Potluck Party: A day could be designated to have a potluck with the highlight being that all dishes brought to the potluck be homemade and nutritious with each employee talking about the ingredients of the dish and nutritional value of those ingredients.
  3. Poster Making or Rangoli Making Contest: A contest could be held for employees to make posters or rangolis highlighting important nutrition themes. The posters could then be displayed throughout the organization. An area should be designated for designing rangolis and these should be photographed for documentation. Creative posters or rangolis could be converted into graphics which could then be circulated to all employees.
  4. Fitness Assessment: A trained fitness instructor could be contacted to conduct a basic fitness assessment for all employees. This could be followed by a demo session of simple exercises which could be practiced to maintain and improve fitness and flexibility.
  5. Organize a Nutrition-Theme Play by Employees: Employees could be encouraged to get together and script and put up a play highlighting important nutrition themes related to infants, children, adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women. This play could then be enacted in communities
  6. Nutritional Value of Canteen Food: Companies that have in-house canteen or food cafes, can ask the vendor/manager to display the nutritional value of the cooked products to create awareness about the daily food intake by employees

Companies can encourage their employees or CSR teams to work with communities on nutrition literacy and awareness. Here are a few ideas that companies can explore:

  1. Cooking Competition: A cooking competition is an interesting way to raise nutrition awareness among communities. The idea of the organizing such a competition is to get the community to be able to come up with practical ways to make their diets nutritious.  The theme for the competition could be healthy snacks for children, nutritious complementary food recipes, iron-rich snacks for adolescent girls and pregnant women, and nutritious recipes for lactating mothers. First, a talk on appropriate the nutritional requirements, foods that should be consumed and nutrition myth dispelling could be conducted by a trained dietician. This can be followed, a day later, by the competition where attendees would prepare and bring nutritious recipes according to the theme selected.
  2. Drawing/Painting Competition: A drawing or painting competition could be held for school-children and adolescents with nutrition themes being the topic. This should be preceded by a nutrition awareness session. Apart from prizes for the best drawing/painting, the ten most creative and impactful images could be converted into cards or wall-hangings and sold as a means to raise nutrition awareness.
  3. Session on Appropriate Infant Feeding Practices: Services of a qualified Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselor could be engaged to conduct sessions on appropriate feeding practices at maternity wings of hospitals, targeting not only mothers but also, other important family members like spouses and in-laws.
  4. Capacity Building Sessions for Anganwadi Workers (AWWs): Leadership and Training Sessions could be organized for AWWs to improve their knowledge, skills and operational capacity. A qualified nutritionist or medical practitioner can be engaged to conduct demo sessions for AWWs based on the modules in the Incremental Learning Approach (ILA) released by the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) . Growth monitoring of children, identification of malnourished children, and treatment and prevention of diarrhoea could be some of the sessions planned.
  5. Anaemia Screening, Treatment and Prevention Session: A session on anaemia screening, treatment and prevention could be organized in communities.
  6. Workshops for children in communities: Qualified nutritionists and medical practitioners could be engaged to organize workshops for children in the communities on topics like nutrition and diet, WASH practices, etc. These workshops could have short informative sessions interjected with theme-based games and other fun activities for the children.

About the Author

Rubina is a Research Nutritionist and an Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselor. She is working with IMPAct4Nutrition as a Senior Researcher and Communication Lead. Rubina, a true ‘Punekar’ who believes that afternoon siestas should be made mandatory, loves to play with her cats and bake delicious goodies.

IMPAct4Nutrition is a unique platform created to engage the private sector in supporting the multi-sectoral approach of the POSHAN Abhiyaan’s strategy. It is an opportunity for the private sector to actively engage and build a social movement with their employees, customers and employees’ families who form a part of their business ecosystem, and support the POSHAN Abhiyaan.

For more details and customised plan for your company or handholding, please write to us at rubina@csrbox.org  

For more information, visit - 


  1. https://www.insightsonindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/POSHAN-Abhiyaan.pdf Accessed on 29-08-2019
  2. https://www.nhp.gov.in/rashtriya-poshan-maah_pg Accessed on 29-08-2019
  3. https://icds-wcd.nic.in/nnm/ILA.htm Accessed on 28-08-2019 

Picture Courtesy - UNICEF India

Tag : PoshanMaah CSR and Nutrition POSHAN Abhiyaan IMPAct4Nutrition Employee Volunteering Ideas

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