Union Government's Supplementary Nutrition Programme has greatly benefited women and children in Faizabad by curbing malnutrition among the poor families.
Government started the scheme with focus on improving the health and nutritional status of infants aged till six years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Under this programme, infants below six years of age are given cooked meals at the school while women in advanced stage of pregnancy are given weekly dry nutrient preparations.
The aim is to supplement the daily nutritional intake by 300 calories, 8 to 10 grams of protein for children, 500 calories and 20-25 grams of protein for women under the ante-natal and post-natal care.
"For children between three to six years, we give hot cooked food, for children below three years of age, we distribute nutritional food. The distribution is done weekly. Some people come here, while for those who cannot; our volunteers visit them by covering the entire area to distribute the food," said Sunita Soni, Supervisor, Supplementary Nutritionrogramme, Faizabad.
The response of the program has gradually increased unlike the initial stages when many conservative women refused to come out of their mud-houses.
To advise the womenfolk about health and pregnancy related issues, regular 'Mahila Mandals' (women council meetings) are organized as part of this program.
Supplementary nutrition is provided as per the programme to needy children and women for 300 days in a year.
"They give us scholarships, Panjiri (traditional formulation of nutrients), good food and books. The programme run by the Indian government is good," said Ramkumari, a local beneficiary, Faizabad.
Pregnant women are also provided with basic counseling about immunization, iron supplementation and special care for young children.