“If India wants to become a superpower, we have to ensure that there are no malnourished children in our country; and for that each Indian has to do his/her bit,” said Bollywood actor Aamir Khan speaking at the nation-wide launch of the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign against malnutrition at Vigyan Bhawan here on Monday.
Aamir Khan, who is the face of the campaign — an initiative of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) — aimed at sensitising and broadening awareness about good nutrition among the masses for improved nutrition outcomes, added: “If our children are not healthy then we start on the back foot. The country needs to fight the issue of malnutrition and this campaign would generate desired response so that this problem quits India.”
Stating that malnutrition among children and women is a grave concern for the country, President Pranab Mukhereje said: “The data on under-nutrition is disturbing and this should be our wake-up call. Indian economy is on a strong positive growth trajectory but until we ensure good nutrition and health for our children and mothers we cannot achieve our targets of sustained and inclusive growth. Our utmost priority must be accorded to prevent under-nutrition, as early as possible, across the life cycle, to avert irreversible cumulative growth and development deficit.”
“Creating increased public awareness on the different dimensions of malnutrition is a key requirement for the success of the campaign,” added the President.
Speaking at the launch which had representatives from various ministries, development partners, civil society organisations, functionaries and anganwadi workers, WCD minister Krishna Tirath said: “Through the programme, Aamir Khan will connect with people and spread awareness on impact of malnutrition and simple ways of preventing and reducing it. These messages on infant and young child feeding and caring will be communicated through advertisements on television, radio, print etc in 18 different Indian languages. The campaign has been initiated with technical support from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the services of Aamir Khan and creative efforts of lyricist, screenwriter and advertising copywriter Prasoon Joshi.”