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Miss Haemoglobin : A Pageant to Make India Anemia-Free

Miss Haemoglobin : A Pageant to Make India Anemia-Free

State and Development Partner

Bihar,

The Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, The Barr Foundation, BBC Media Action

Rekha's excited this morning. She is about to be awarded for her blood. Yes! As strange as it sounds, she has been working for this day. She has been consistently focusing on a balanced diet and taking iron and folic acid pills regularly despite the uneasiness in the first couple of weeks. She feels more energetic now, and today particularly so as she will be awarded Miss Haemoglobin by the department of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in her district Guna in Madhya Pradesh, and all her friends will be there to watch. She is one among thousands of adolescent girls who are being trageted under POSHAN Abhiyaan thorugh Swasth Bharat Prerak in an effort to make India anaemia-free.

Unlike conventional methods of generating public awareness about anaemia, this innovative initiative uses social incentives to bring behaviour change, A healthy body and mind should be incentive enough, but our human brain responds to visible tangible incentives much more strongly. Being publicly recognised for adhering to healthy nutritional practices not only does the job of promoting healthy habits but gives adolescent girls something to strive for. The winners further inspire their peers to also adopt healthy habits.

More than half of the Indian women of reproductive age are anaemic. Low haemoglobin levels not only lower productivity but can also prove fatal in severe cases. This has a huge economic cost. Such practices hope to prod India's Young girls to take their health seriously.

Source : Stories of Change from India's Aspirational districts - NITI Aayog publication

Last Modified : 5/11/2022



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