Visiting Fellow, Shamika Ravi, in this Livemint article, writes on the urgent need to direct nutrition policy to better invest in the first 1000 days of a child. This includes investing in pregnant and lactating mothers. She says:
"India’s ability to harness long-term demographic dividends rests on it prioritizing nutrition in its health agenda, and reforming the institutional framework through which interventions are delivered. Most importantly, to combine fragmented efforts, a nodal government body should be established with responsibility for meeting time-bound nutrition targets, and coordinating multi-sectoral programmes, including the ICDS, the National Rural Health Mission, the midday meal scheme, and the public distribution system[...]
India’s fight against hidden hunger must acknowledge that economic growth is not a panacea for all public health problems. Given the ever-increasing weight of the country’s economic ambitions, prioritizing nutrition in an integrated health agenda and realigning nutrition policy to target the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial first steps towards ensuring India’s development rests on strong and steady shoulders."
Read the full article here.