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Special Nutrition Programme (SNP)

The Special Nutrition Programme (SNP) was launched in 1970-71 by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of India. It was initially launched as a Central Programme but was transferred to the state sector during the fifth five year plan. During the sixth and seventh five year plans, steps were taken to convert the SNP centres on the pattern of ICDS scheme by strengthening them with health and other inputs. At present 22.87 million beneficiaries are covered by the scheme. It is planned to increase the number of beneficiaries upto 30.92 million by the end of 1991-92.

(Source : Annual Plan 1990-91, Planning Commision, Government of India, 1992) 

Objectives : The objectives of the programme is to improve the, nutritional of preschool children, pregnant and lactating mothers of poor socio-economic groups in urban slums, tribal areas and drought prone rural areas. 

Beneficiaries : The programme caters to : 
  1. Preschool children 
  2. Pregnant and lactating mothers. 


The beneficiaries are selected on the basis of their socio-economic groups. The pregnant mother in the last trimester and lactating mothers during the first four months are given priority. The malnourished children are also given priority. 

Activities : The activities of the programme include: 
  • to provide supplementary nutrition. 
  • to provide health care services including supply of Vitamin A solution and iron and folic acid tablets. (This component has been added during sixth five year plan.)


The supplementary nutrition is provided to children in 6-72 months, to provide 300 calories and log protein per child per day. The severely malnourished children are provided 600 calories and 20g protein/day. Iron and folic acid tablets and Vitamin A solution are also provided. 

The pregnant and lactating mothers receive supplementary nutrition containing 600 calories and 20g protein per day. Iron and folic acid tablets are also provided. The cost of supplementary nutrition is same as in the ICDS scheme. 

Organisation : The programme is implemented through a network of balwadis, which are located at the village/community level. The balwadi worker and the helper is most peripheral functionaries implementing the scheme.

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