Krishna Tirath, minister for women and child development (WCD), highlighted the initiatives taken by the Government of India towards addressing the problem of malnutrition at the Global Nutrition Meet held in London on August 12, 2012. The meet was jointly organised by the United Kingdom and Brazil on the eve of the closing of the Olympics 2012, and was chaired by the British prime minister David Cameron.
She met the UK's Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell regarding forging better partnerships with the British government, the Department for international Development (DFID) and for institutional collaborations in the field of child development, nutrition, protection, and women's empowerment. Further, a request was also made to India to consider taking a lead role in the 'Scaling Up Nutrition' (SUN) movement, a coalition involving more than 135 different agencies, including government bodies, and setting up a secretariat and knowledge resource centre for information and knowledge exchange for Asia.
Speaking at the meet, Tirath said that nutrition is being given the highest attention and priority by the government of India, and India stands firmly committed to reduce the burden of undernutrition and for achieving full potential of our children. She mentioned the PM's Nutrition Council has taken several key decisions to address the issue. Elaborately on the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, she said that the scheme is reaching about 80 million children under six years and 20 million expecting and nursing mothers through a network of 1.3 million Anganwadis. The scheme is being strengthened and restructured with programmatic, institutional and managerial reforms along with enhanced financial commitment from an annual average of US$ 3.5 billion to over US$ 6.5 billion. The investment would improve infrastructure, professional management, monitoring, community participation and accountability of the programme, the WCD minister said.
She highlighted the achievements under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). She said that while a Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Programme in 200 high-burden districts is being considered, the National Food Security Bill, 2011 is also under consideration of the Parliament. She also participated in the round-table discussions regarding data monitoring and accountability on nutrition.