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 Mission was set up in 2005, and the second phase started in 2011 and third phase in 2017. The aim of the Mission is to reduce child malnutrition in Maharashtra by focusing on the child’s first 1000 days from conception.
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 role of Department of Women and Child Development. 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.