The Government has taken various measures to improve the health and nutritional status of vulnerable population including SC and ST of the country as follows:
1. Prime Minister’s National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges has been set up in October, 2008 for policy direction, review and effective coordination between Ministries which all will have a sectoral responsibility for the challenge of Nutrition.
2. A National Nutrition Policy has been adopted since 1993 and a National Plan of Action for Nutrition (1995) is being implemented through various Departments of Government. The National Nutrition Mission has been set up.
3. Reproductive Child Health Programme under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) includes:
· Emphasis on appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding
· Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) to promote maternal health & nutrition and institutional deliveries for better birth outcomes
· Navajaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK)
· Focus on Maternal Health by promoting institutional deliveries, improved coverage and quality of ANC, skilled care to Pregnant women and Post-partum care at community level.
· Immunization of children to prevent them from both morbidity and mortality.
· Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses and malnutrition.
· Promotion of ORS with zinc supplementation for a period of two weeks during the diarrhea management.
· Treatment of severe acute malnutrition through Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) set up at public health facilities.
· Specific Programme to prevent and combat micronutrient deficiencies of Vitamin A, Iron & Folic Acid. Vitamin A supplementation for children till the age of 5 years. Iron & Folic Acid syrup to children from the age of 6 months to 5 years. Iron & Folic Acid supplementation to pregnant and lactating women also.
4. National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme (NIDDCP) for promotion of adequately iodated salt consumption at household level.
5. Nutrition Education to increase the awareness and bring about desired changes in the dietary practices including the promotion of breast feeding and dietary diversification is being encouraged under both Integrated Child development Services Scheme (ICDS) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
6. Other schemes targeting improvement of nutritional status are as under:
a. Integrated Child Development Services Schemes (ICDS).
b. Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls [RGSEAG] – (SABLA).
c. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
d. National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (Mid Day Meal Programme).
e. Improving the purchasing power of the people through various income generating schemes including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
f. Availability of essential food items at subsidized cost through Targeted Public Distribution System.