Manipur State Rural Livelihood Mission reaches out to infants to combat dietary deficit
Imphal: In an endeavour to fulfil the dietary requirements of infants, particularly of those who are currently lodged at the relief camps of displaced persons of violence-hit Manipur, the Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission, under the department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, on Thursday launched Mama’s Nutrimix, a complementary food for infants.
The Nutrimix was handed out to as many as 16 infants at Manipur Trade and Centre Relief Camp, Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Imphal West. The relief camp currently lodges 585 inmates, who are mostly from Kangpokpi, Kakching (Sugnu, Serou), Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts.
Dr. Vineet Joshi, Chief Secretary, launched Mama’s Nutrimix, who attended the programme as the Chief Guest. The state Chief Secretary along with the dignitaries present in the launching programme interacted with the inmates and the children of the relief camp.
Interacting with Waari Singbul, Dr Joshi said that the state government plans to distribute the complementary baby food to 12000 infants of 09-24 months, staying in relief camps across the state. He also lauded the self MSRLM for coming up with such a venture and appealed to the self help group s to come up with such products.
N. Bandana Devi, State Mission Director of Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM), explained how the pilot project was taken up. “While undertaking livelihood activities with the inmates of relief camps across the state, we’ve noticed that there is, in general, dietary deficit of children, particularly infants. While nutrient supplements were provided by the Social Welfare department through its SNP program, complementary infant food was not sufficiently provided as it is very expensive in the market. Hence, in an
earnest effort to work towards fulfilling the dietary deficit of infants, MSRLM came up with the idea of an infant complementary food,” Bandana said.
Mama’s Nutrimix is a ready to eat complementary food with high calorific value for infants. It is to be mixed directly with lukewarm water and fed. A pilot project initiated by MSRLM with its employees, numbering around 300, contributing their one-day salary amounting to about Rs. 2 lakhs to make up for the project cost as well as to provide some essential relief materials whenever they visit the camps across the state.
The infrastructural requirement of the pilot project was provided by the Custom Hiring Centre (CHC) managed by the village level federation of the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) affiliated with MSRLM. The CHC normally hires out heavy duty tractors, grinders and mixers to farmers and SHGs. Easily available raw materials like atta, roasted soybean, roasted chana, milk powder & sugar are the ingredients of the Mama’s Nurimix.
The lady Mission Director added that the calorific requirement of children between 9 to 24 months was carefully ascertained with the help of the nutritionist & experts of State Health Mission that came out with the following stats: “An infant between 9 to 12 months requires 60 grams of Nutrimix per day while infants between 1 to 2 years would need an intake of 70-90 grams of Nutrimix”.
She further added that “4100 kgs of the Nutrimix would be the monthly requirement for the total number of infants staying in the relief camps across the state and this would require a budget of Rs.12 lakhs to produce it.” She conveyed that a proposal for the fund requirement for the complementary infant food requirement is submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India by the State Government and is hopeful of its approval.
During the infant food launching function, Imphal West district administration in collaboration with the State Agriculture and Horticulture departments distributed winter crop seeds like cauliflower, peas, mustard, onion, potatoes etc. to the inmates of the relief camps who wanted to engage in kitchen gardening, both for supplementing their kitchen requirement and to simply engage themselves productively in the camp where there is space for doing for.
M.H. Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Pradeep Kumar Jha, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, Th. Kirankumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Imphal West district, N. Bandana Devi, State Mission Director, Manipur State Rural Livelihood Mission, Dr. Somorjit Ningombam, State Mission Director, National Health Mission, and Dr. Sanjib Singh Nepram, President Rotary Club of Imphal & MS RIMS participated as dignitaries of the launch.