WCD Ministry launches Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh
Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, along with Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK) recently in New Delhi. The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.
At the launch programme Secretary, Ministry of WCD, Rabindra Panwar, handed over the letter of intent to Hari Menon, Director, India Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Also, eminent agricultural scientist, Dr M S Swaminathan, in his address, said that to make India nutrition secure a five-point action programme has to be implemented. "Ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children, proper intake of proteins, eradicate hidden hunger, ensure clean drinking water supply, spread nutrition literacy in every village."
Minister of WCD said that on this occasion she would like to thank the 1.3 million Anganwadi workers who help to keep the nutritional goals alive, the 1.2 million Anganwadi helpers and state agencies who have reached out to 85 million beneficiaries and digitally linked them with the Government of India through daily updates on the dashboard. But for India to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it is now time to bring together the science of implementation with the science of communication so that nutrition is on the political and administrative agenda along with hygiene and clean drinking water.
Bill Gates in his address said that if there was one problem that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would like to solve in India, it is the problem of malnutrition among women, expectant mothers and children. Solving this problem will bring about a dramatic change in the development of India and help the country to attain the SDGs.
He informed that the Foundation will be happy to partner with the Government of India, the Ministry of WCD and other Ministries in every way to deal with this multi-faceted challenge in order to create a sustained nutritional programme to bring down malnutrition in the country. The programme was attended by Minister of State for WCD, Debasree Chaudhuri, officials of the Ministries of WCD, Agriculture, Human Resource Development, NITI Aayog, Prime Minister's Office, UNICEF, World Bank and civil society members.