Maharashtra was the first state in the country to take a decision to tackle malnutrition in ‘Mission – mode’ and with this purpose, Rajmata Jijau Mother – Child Health & Nutrition Mission was established. The first phase of the Health and Nutrition Mission was set up in 2005, and the second phase in November 2011. The aim of the Mission is to reduce child malnutrition in Maharashtra by focusing on the first 1000 days from conception, i.e. the period of -9 to 24 months.
The Rajmata Jijau Mission works as an autonomous technical and advisory body fully funded by UNICEF. It aims at improving convergence and coordination between Public Health Department, Govt. of Maharastra and ICDS Commissionerate.
The role of the Mission is well-defined to avoid any confusion and duplication with the WCD Departments’ role. In Maharashtra, a deliberate decision was taken not to fund the Mission through the state budget, and not to implement any schemes directly through the Mission. This enables it to function with freedom and autonomy.