From young Mizo activists, some food for thought!https://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/pm-modi-poshan-maah-mizoram-young-activists-nutrition-anganwadi-5375636/

From young Mizo activists, some food for thought!

As part of the Central Government’s Poshan Maah initiative, children — between ages 2-5 —from Aizawl’s Khatla Anganwadi hit the streets with placards exhorting people to eat healthy and stay fit

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

As PM Narendra Modi's 'Poshan Maah' or month devoted to nutrition initiative gets underway across the country this September, tiny activists in Mizoram’s Khatla locality took it in their stride to deliver the message right to the streets. Mizoram's capital, Aizawl, has about 190 anganwadis. The anganwadi in Khatla has about 40-50 children between the ages of two to five. “We organise rallies very often. For the Poshan Maah, we have a lot of activities planned out," says Diana Lalbiaknungi Ralte, who heads the anganwadi. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

The activities include participating in the harvest festival, home visits, and rallies. “Today, we went to our local market, where I spoke to the kids about the importance of eating green leafy vegetables,” says Ralte.  “Our poshan rally got a lot of attention — people were very impressed!” (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

On September 14, Lalbiaknungi and her children held a small rally to raise awareness about healthy eating. “We went a short distance — from the wadi to the bridge and then back again. The bridge is about 25 steps from the wadi. They are toddlers so we did not go very far!” she says. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

Many people came up to her to tell her that it was very good initiative. “They said ‘for such things, it is wise to start young’,” says Ralte. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

The children held up placards in both Mizo and English which said “The greatest wealth is heatlh”, “Joyful living is a healthy life”, “Tui in Tam Rawh" (“drink plenty of water”) and “Bawlhhlawh a bawm ah paih rawh” (“throw your waste in the dustbin”). (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

Soon they will also hold a poshan mela, where mothers of the anganwadi beneficiaries will prepare healthy food. Some NGOs will also participate in the mela. “Their participation is an indication of the concern they have for Khatla Anganwadi Centre. Not only the well wishers visit the centre but also popular local personalities amongst the Mizos such as footballer Jeje Lalpekhlua. When he came, the children were quite enthusiastic to pose for photos with him,” says Ralte. (Photo Courtesy: SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

Ralte began working in the anganwadi on April 1, 2017. "The wadi is my life.I feel so blessed to be with my kids," she says. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

September is Poshan Maah and the anganwadi has a daily list of activities planned through the month. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

According to Ralte, these sort of activities help a lot. “The children take my word seriosuly. If the teacher say this is good food, they eat it without complaint. Many of our kids have green veggies, and ignore Mirinda and Fanta,” she says. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)

Poshan Maah, healthy eating, Poshan Maah mizoram, mizoram children activists, mizoram children rally, mizoram anganwadi rally, mizoram healthy eating rally, indian express news

The month also has other activities like cycle rally, poshan walk, clean up drive etc. "We held a clean up drive around the wadi — the kids and teachers participated," she says. (Express Photo by SK Hauhnar)