Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/ October 07, 2023 (SPN) | In an effort to address the dietary requirements of infants, especially those residing in relief camps due to violence in Manipur, the Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission, under the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, has introduced “Mama’s Nutrimix,” a complimentary food for infants.
This initiative distributed Mama’s Nutrimix to 16 infants at the Manipur Trade and Centre Relief Camp in Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Imphal West. The relief camp currently houses 585 inmates, primarily from Kangpokpi, Kakching (Sugnu, Serou), Churachandpur, and Bishnupur districts.
Dr. Vineet Joshi, Chief Secretary, launched Mama’s Nutrimix and attended the program as the Chief Guest.
Fulfilling Dietary Deficits for Infants
During the launch event, N. Bandana Devi, State Mission Director of Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM), explained the rationale behind the pilot project. She highlighted that while conducting livelihood activities in relief camps across the state, they noticed a general dietary deficit among children, particularly infants.
Although nutrient supplements were provided by the Social Welfare Department through its SNP program, complementary infant food was not sufficiently available due to its high cost in the market. To bridge this gap and fulfill the dietary needs of infants, MSRLM introduced Mama’s Nutrimix.
Mama’s Nutrimix: Ready-to-Eat Complementary Food
Mama’s Nutrimix is a ready-to-eat complementary food designed for infants with a high calorific value. It can be easily prepared by mixing it with lukewarm water. The pilot project was initiated by MSRLM, with around 300 employees contributing one day’s salary, totaling approximately Rs. 2 lakhs, to cover the project’s cost and provide essential relief materials for camps across the state.
The project’s infrastructure was provided by the Custom Hiring Centre (CHC), managed by the village-level federation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) affiliated with MSRLM. The Nutrimix contains readily available ingredients such as wheat flour, roasted soybean, roasted chana, milk powder, and sugar.
Meeting Caloric Needs of Infants
The calorific requirements for infants aged 9 to 24 months were determined in consultation with nutritionists and experts from the State Health Mission. Infants aged 9 to 12 months require 60 grams of Nutrimix per day, while those aged 1 to 2 years need an intake of 70-90 grams.
The monthly requirement for Nutrimix for all infants in relief camps across the state is estimated to be 4,100 kgs, with a budget of Rs. 12 lakhs needed for production. The state government has submitted a proposal for funding to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, with hopes for approval.
Additional Support for Camp Inmates
During the infant food launch event, the Imphal West district administration, in collaboration with the State Agriculture and Horticulture departments, distributed winter crop seeds like cauliflower, peas, mustard, onions, and potatoes to camp inmates. This initiative aims to encourage kitchen gardening to supplement their food requirements and engage them productively within the camp.
Several dignitaries, including M.H. Khan, Additional Chief Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Pradeep Kumar Jha, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, Th. Kirankumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Imphal West district, Dr. Somorjit Ningombam, State Mission Director of National Health Mission, and Dr. Sanjib Singh Nepram, President of Rotary Club of Imphal & MS RIMS, participated in the launch event.