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AYUSH and Tribal Affairs Ministries Launch Joint Initiative for Tribal Student Health

The Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs have unveiled a collaborative effort aimed at improving the public health of tribal students. This joint initiative focuses on implementing Ayurvedic interventions to address health issues among over 20,000 tribal students.

Union Ministers’ Announcement

Union Minister for AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda jointly declared the initiative. They highlighted its significance in addressing the health needs of children in Eklavya Model Residential Schools across tribal regions through comprehensive public health interventions.

Objectives and Focus Areas

  • Targeted Health Needs Assessment: The initiative aims to study the health requirements of tribal populations and deliver public healthcare services with a focus on addressing major issues such as malnutrition, iron deficiency anemia, and sickle cell diseases among tribal students.
  • Ayurvedic Interventions: Leveraging the effectiveness of Ayurveda, the project seeks to provide interventions that are already proven and impactful in addressing prevalent health issues among tribal communities.
  • Scope and Coverage: The project targets students aged 10 to 18 years enrolled in classes 6th to 12th across 55 identified Eklavya Model Residential Schools spanning 14 states in India.

Implementation Strategies

  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Practices: By incorporating principles of Ayurveda, the initiative aims to instill healthy lifestyle habits among tribal children, thereby enhancing their overall well-being and disease prevention capabilities.
  • Integration of Medicinal Plant Gardens: The inclusion of medicinal plant gardens within schools is proposed to educate future generations about the importance of traditional medicines in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Collaborative Framework

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): In October 2022, a formal MoU was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to explore collaborative avenues for tribal development.
  • Development of Poshan Vatikas: As a result of this collaboration, the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) has established 72 Poshan Vatikas in Eklavya Model Residential Schools across 20 states, laying the groundwork for this joint health initiative.

AYUSH and Tribal Affairs Ministries Launch Joint Initiative for Tribal Student Health_4.1

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