The Tamil Nadu Nutrition Alliance gathered for a two-day workshop on ‘Knowledge Management for Nutrition’ at Puducherry on September 26 & 27, 2017. The meeting was an opportunity to share best practices on nutrition and to brainstorm on the knowledge portal that is being set up for the alliance.
The participants shared knowledge on their work related to nutrition and were in consensus about promoting traditional crops and foods for nutrition and about involvement of community in spreading the message of nutrition.
Dr Yamuna Rani, Joint Director ICDS, Chennai gave an overview of the schemes for the 0-6 population and adolescent girls and how they are using ICT technologies for nutrition. Dr K.R Jahan Mohan, State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu, spoke of initiatives on millet promotion & other efforts by the Government. Ms Deepa Rajkamal, CEO of TNVRC, a unit of the Women’s Development Corporation, outlined their database on profiles of village members within Tamil Nadu, which could be of use to the Alliance. Dr M Sangeetha, Deputy Director Research, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, spoke about prevention of discriminatory practices that favours boys over girls, which affects girls’ nutrition. Dr Ashok , also from the DPH, spoke about vitamin deficiencies such as Vitamin A, that result in eye diseases among children and preventive measures fro the same.
Dr Seethalakshmi, Gandhigram University spoke of their work on popularising milk and milk products, while Dr Shareefa Talha, senior nutrition expert and Dr Meenakshi Bajaj, Indian Dietetic Association spoke of various products to take care of nutrition needs. Prof K.R Sundaravaradarajan, Annamalai Univeristy, highlighted how acamedia-nutrition linkages can create need-based diets.
Dr Velvizhi, Fish for All Centre, MSSRF gave an overview of the work of the Centre and the importance of fish as a source of nutrients, while Dr K. Ambashankar, Central Institute of Brackishwater Acquaculture, spoke of the misconceptions related to specific sea food. Dr Nagaraj, MSSRF highlighted the use of GIS to map malnutrition hotspots.
Grassroot Institution representatives from Puducherry highlighted work on livelihood security and nutrition in the form of kitchen gardens and for rearing of milch animals.
Dr Farhat Saiyed, UNICEF outlined the objectives of the Alliance requesting each of the stakeholders present to contribute to the network to take it forward.
Ms Jayashree B, Head HMRC, MSSRF highlighted how the Tamil Nadu Nutrition Alliance knowledge platform could be used share tools and resources for nutrition in Tamil Nadu.
The meeting also included field visits to Vazhudavoor, to study the dairy collectives of women and a visit to Poraiyur for an interaction with adolescent girls on nutrition and related issues.