27 October, 2020

Nutrition Warriors | A Mizo Village's Fight To Ward Off Stunted Growth, Underweight Children

Shashanka Ala has made Lawngtlai self-sufficient in growing fresh fruits and vegetables and combat malnutrition

Nutrition Warriors | A Mizo Village's Fight To Ward Off Stunted Growth, Underweight Children
outlookindia.com
2020-05-14T17:14:03+05:30

Lawngtlai has 35.3 per cent stunted, 21.3 per cent underweight and 5.9 per cent severely wasted children under the age of five—highest on all counts in Mizoram. No surprises here: the district faces a lack of fresh produce because supplies from its food source, nearby Assam, are erratic. But Lawngtlai is now a nutritional role model and Shashanka Ala, its deputy commissioner, is responsible for the transformation.

Ala motivated stakeholders to come together, generate compost, provide high-yielding seeds of local fruits and vegetables, and create nutrition gardens in each school to achieve self-sufficiency and combat malnutrition. This unique project is called Kan Sikul, Kan Huan (My School, My Farm). At anganwadis and schools, officials identified space for a small kitchen and at least 100 sq ft of land for a garden. The district administration provided seeds, compost and gardening equipment. The mid-day meal coordinator had to ensure that children ate largely from their gardens. Agriculture officials gave hands-on training to teachers in every school. Principals...

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