Sustainable Development Goal 3 aims to ensure a healthy life and well-being for all human beings on the planet. These outcomes are important at all stages of life. Specific goals of SDG3 address priorities related to health, e.g., reproductive, maternal, and child health, and all diseases. Further, it looks to ensure universal health coverage and access to affordable medicines and vaccines.
SDG 3 aims to prevent disease across the world. It focuses on countries and marginalized population groups that have a high disease burden.
SDG3 addresses priorities related to health, e.g., reproductive, maternal, and child health, and all diseases.
Nutritional Issues in Young Children: The Indian Context
Nutrition is a major concern in children, especially in rural India. Some of the most common nutritional issues faced by children in rural India include:
- Malnutrition. Malnutrition is caused by a combination of factors, including poverty, inadequate dietary intake, and poor sanitation. Malnutrition can result in stunted growth and a weakened immune system. As a result, children are at a higher risk of disease.
- Nutrition deficiency. Children across rural India face deficiency in nutrients such as iron and essential vitamins, which results in anemia and further impairs cognitive development and leads to higher infection rates.
- Access to clean water. Some areas in rural India lack access to clean drinking water, making children more susceptible to waterborne diseases.
- Improper hygiene and sanitation. Improper hygiene and sanitation result in disease among children. Young girls do not go to school or drop out of school after puberty due to the lack of a separate toilet for girls, and often no proper toilets at all. Poor sanitation and hygiene are recurring issues linked to many of India’s health issues.
- Limited access to healthcare. Though India’s overall healthcare facilities have improved in recent few years, it is still a work in progress. Socioeconomic and regional considerations in certain rural areas lead to limited access to healthcare facilities. This makes it difficult to diagnose and treat nutritional and other common issues in children.
Children in rural India face a number of nutritional issues related to poverty, poor sanitation, and limited healthcare access.
Importance of Child Nutrition in Rural India
Despite considerable progress, child nutrition remains of utmost importance in rural India. Further work is needed to tackle child malnutrition and related health problems that are widespread in these areas.
Promoting healthy nutrition behavior is crucial for children. Benefits are:
- Child Development. Proper nutrition is key to healthy growth and development of children and to reduce malnutrition that can lead to stunted growth, impaired cognitive development, and a weakened immune system.
- Improved Health. Promoting healthy nutrition behavior in children will lead to a reduction in infections, illnesses, and diseases. In rural areas that have limited healthcare facilities, this is crucial for prevention.
- Better Education Outcomes. Proper nutrition leads to improved concentration and better academic achievement. Healthy children are more likely to attend school, thus leading to better attendance and lower dropout rates.
- Sustainable Development. Poor nutrition in children adds to intergenerational poverty and malnutrition. Thus, it has an important role to play in the sustainable development of rural communities.
Addressing and promoting nutrition issues has a synergistic effect and results in better overall productivity. The economic development of rural areas is directly benefited by healthy nutrition.
The need of the hour is to address the issue of child nutrition in rural India. This can be made with improving access to nutritious food, increased awareness of the importance of a balanced diet, and promotion of hygiene and sanitation practices. The result will be a healthy child who can develop into a productive member of society. The future of sustainable development of these rural communities is dependent on achieving the goals of SDG3
Addressing and promoting nutrition is the need of the hour in rural India. It can have a synergistic effect and result in better productivity and sustainable development.
Nutrition Programs by the Indian Government
With less than ten years left to achieve SDG 3, India is now entering into the “Decade of Action.” This is translating into focused actions by the government through partnerships with civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
Several nutrition programs have been implemented in rural India to address the issue of malnutrition and related health problems in young children. Some of these:
- Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). ICDS is a government-run program that aims to improve the health and nutritional status of children under the age of six years, and pregnant and lactating mothers. The program provides a package of integrated services, including supplementary nutrition, health checkups, education services for the most vulnerable groups of children and women, and immunizations. This unique program uses a common focal point providing an anganwadi in each village/urban slum to achieve its objective.
- Mid-Day Meal. This program provides wholesome freshly cooked meals to children in government and government-aided schools in India. Mid-Day Meal improve school attendance, reduce dropouts, and have a beneficial impact on children’s nutrition.
- National Rural Health Mission. This program provides affordable, and quality healthcare to the rural population, especially vulnerable groups such as women and children. The NHRM is a wide umbrella program that ensures action on health determinants such as water, sanitation, education, nutrition, and social and gender equality. It covers a range of services, including maternal and child health services, family planning services, and nutrition education.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. This government initiative improves sanitation and hygiene practices in rural areas. The objective of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to spread awareness and emphasize the importance of cleanliness, improved hygiene, and sanitation practices. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan provides basic sanitation facilities such as toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and a safe and adequate drinking water access to every person. This initiative helps to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases and improve the overall health and nutritional of children.
- Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA). This centrally sponsored program aims at the development and empowerment of adolescent girls. SABLA addresses various socio-legal issues by focusing on educational, nutritional, and health requirements, targeting adolescent girls in rural areas with a range of interventions, including nutrition education, health checkups, and life skills education.
Several other government-sponsored programs include the Special Nutrition Program (SNP); Wheat Based Nutrition Program (WNP); Applied Nutrition Programs (ANP); Balwadi Nutrition Program (BNP); National Nutritional Anemia Prophylaxis Program (NNAPP); National Program for Prevention of Blindness due to Vitamin A Deficiency; and National Goiter Control Program (NGCP).
These interventions are targeted toward children and are important steps in improving the nutritional status of young children in rural India. Addressing the issue of nutrition in young children helps to ensure that they grow up healthy and develop into productive members of society.
Several nutrition programs have been implemented in rural India to address the issue of malnutrition and related health problems in young children. Some of these are: continue reading . . .
S M Sehgal Foundation: Working for Sustainable Rural Development
S M Sehgal Foundation (SMSF)has been promoting sustainable community-led rural development in India since 1999. SMSF creates sustainable programs to address rural India’s most pressing needs with program areas that include Water Management, Agriculture Development, Local Participation, and Sustainability, Transform Lives one school at a time, and Outreach for Development. These programs are supported by a skilled research team that engages in participatory research, impact assessment, and interactive dialogues to determine informed actions to achieve sustainable results.
The Local Participation and Sustainability Program works with rural communities to promote good hygiene and sanitation in villages, improve awareness of preventive and remedial healthcare, and encourage the adoption of safe hygiene practices through behavior–-change campaigns.
As part of the vision of strengthening community-led rural development for positively impacting the lives of people, Nestlé India in collaboration with S M Sehgal Foundation launched the second phase of Project Vriddhi. This three-year-old project was launched in 2019 in the village of Rohira in Nuh district, Haryana. In its second phase, the initiative expanded to the villages of Naharpur and Gabanspur in Punhana block, Nuh, to improve the lives of the locals through holistic rural development.
Project Vriddhi focuses on an integrated approach to well-being, including education, sanitation, water conservation, and improving farm livelihoods. The initiative has touched the lives of 1,500 beneficiaries to date, promoting water-saving irrigation practices, digital literacy, and a life skills education center, increasing awareness of nutrition, enhancing farm productivity, and providing a healthy learning environment in schools by improving hygiene and sanitation practices.
To positively impact the lives of people in rural communities, Nestlé India in collaboration with S M Sehgal Foundation launched the second phase of Project Vriddhi.
Promoting healthy nutritional behavior in young children is critical for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 in India. Some strategies:
- Encourage breastfeeding.
- Promote home-cooked meals.
- Provide nutrition education.
- Provide availability and access to nutrient-rich foods.
By following these, the goals of SDG 3, could be realized in the “Decade of Action”.
Promoting healthy nutritional behavior in young children is critical for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 in India. Some strategies: Read and learn!
Sustainable Development Goal 3 aims to ensure a healthy life and well-being for all people on the planet. These outcomes are important at all stages of life. Specific goals of SDG3 address priorities related to health e.g., reproductive, maternal, and child health, and all diseases. Further, it ensures universal health coverage and access to affordable medicines and vaccines.
Nutrition is a major concern in children, especially in rural India. Some of the most common nutritional issues faced by children in rural India include malnutrition, nutrition deficiency, access to clean water, improper hygiene and sanitation, and limited access to healthcare.
Despite considerable progress, healthy child nutrition remains of utmost importance in rural India. There is still work to be done to tackle child malnutrition and related health problems, which are widespread in these areas.
Promoting healthy nutrition behavior is crucial for children, and considerable benefits include child development, improved health, better education outcomes, and overall development.
Several nutrition programs have been implemented in rural India to address the issue of malnutrition and related health problems in young children. Some of these are ICDS, Mid-Day Meal, National Rural Health Mission, and SABLA.