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Feeding India | April 7, 2024 | 3 min(s) read
Unlocking Health and Nutrition Awareness through a ‘Jan Andolan’ 

As World Health Day 2024 dawns upon us, it serves as an opportune moment to reflect on the global imperative of prioritising health and nutrition. Enhanced emphasis on health and nutrition is not just a matter of personal choice, but an urgent necessity for securing a healthier, more resilient future for all. Over the years, India has achieved notable strides in improving health and wellbeing as well as addressing challenges such as malnutrition. Key initiatives such as Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 (Mission Poshan 2.0) has demonstrated a dedicated commitment to combating this pressing issue (PIB 2023). Thus with collective action from all stakeholders, we can move towards building a malnutrition-free India. 

A complex issue, encompassing undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and related noncommunicable diseases (WHO 2023), malnutrition, is a universal problem affecting the entire global population regardless of their location, age, wealth, and gender, and not just affects the poor or the rural population. For instance, among the highest wealth quintile, 22% of children under five are stunted, with 20% being underweight (Gopalan et al. 2022). This highlights that while poverty is one of the determinants of malnutrition, other factors such as lifestyle, socio-cultural factors like household practices, and feeding and caring practices all contribute towards it.  

While numerous effective solutions have been implemented to address malnutrition, community mobilIsation is considered one of the best practices for achieving behaviour change and raising awareness. As defined by WHO, ‘Community mobilisation; concerns the ‘all’ of health for all; in other words, health for all can only be achieved by involving everyone’ (WHO 1997). Involving community members such as village leaders, youths, parents, and others with shared interests fosters collaboration toward achieving collective goals. While information alone often isn’t sufficient to prompt behaviour change, it drives positive changes when coupled with a supportive community environment. This was reflected in global public health successes such as polio eradication, where community mobilisation was one of the key drivers, particularly in remote settings across Africa and Asia (Lewis et al. 2020). 

Incorporating learnings from such programmes, in India too, a number of innovative efforts have been adopted to engage the community to instil ownership and empower people for advancing action towards a malnutrition-free India (NITI Ayog & UNICEF 2023). The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, reinstated this vision and dedicated his clarion call for a ‘Suposhit Bharat’ under the Poshan Abhiyaan, to the principles of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas’ to ensure comprehensive welfare of the underprivileged and marginalised segments of society.

To complement the efforts of the government, Feeding India launched a community mobilisation program where like-minded young individuals unite to take action and effect change, forging a path towards a better tomorrow. This initiative aimed at encouraging young changemakers and has kickstarted a nationwide movement to eradicate malnutrition, reduce food wastage, and promote food banking.

As we observe World Health Day, with it’s theme ‘My health, my right’, let us reaffirm our commitment through collective action to prioritising nutrition and health for all. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and empowering communities, we can pave the way for a healthier and prosperous future for every individual in India. 

For those interested in making a difference in your community, we invite you to join us in our mission by filling out the provided form here


  1. Press Information Bureau (PIB) 2023, Measurement of over 7 Crore children shows wasting at about one-third of that used in Global Hunger Index, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD)
  2. World Health Organization (WHO) 2023, Malnutrition, WHO, viewed 8 February 2024
  3. Gopalan, S.S, Bhatia, R, Khetrapal,S & R, Sungsup 2022, ‘Addressing Nutrition Security in Urban India through Multisectoral Action’, Asian Development Bank, no. 90
  4. World Health Organization (WHO) 1997,  Mobilization of the Community in support of Health for All, WHO, viewed 7 February 2024
  5. PATH, USAID, and Infant & Young Child Nutrition Project 2011, Mobilizing communities for improved nutrition, viewed 7 February 2024
  6. Lewis, J, LeBan, K, Solomon, R., Bisrat, F, Usman, S, & Arale, A 2020, ‘The Critical Role and Evaluation of Community Mobilizers in Polio Eradication in Remote Settings in Africa and Asia,’ Glob Health Sci Pract, vol 8, no. 3
  7. NITI Ayog & UNICEF 2023, Transforming Child Nutrition: State-Level Approaches and Practices for Community-Based Comprehensive Care and Management of Acute Malnutrition, viewed 7 February 2024

Authors: Disha Kouli & Glaison Cherian

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