MALNUTRITION: India: Government enumerates steps taken to tackle malnutrition
The HinduMilk and eggs are supplied to severely malnourished children at anganwadi centres in some districts. File photo: M.A.Sriram
But Opposition says the measures are not good enough
The State government on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that 66,344 children are suffering from malnutrition in the State as of October 2012.
In a reply to U.T. Khader of the Congress during Question Hour, Minister for Women and Child Development Kalakappa G. Bandi said the highest number of malnourished children are in Belgaum (7,587), followed by Raichur (6,089), Bidar (5,258), Koppal (4,496) and Gulbarga (4,436).
Besides nutritious food, the department has been supplying eggs and milk to severely malnourished children in Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal and Yadgir districts, from December 1, 2012.
Mr. Bandi said 200 ml of milk is being supplied on two days, while eggs are being provided four days a week. Milk is given six days a week to children who do not consume eggs, he said.
Efforts would be made to supply milk and eggs to malnourished children of all districts at the anganwadi kendras in the State.
The government has been providing nutritious food costing Rs. 6.90 per day for severely malnourished children, he said.
Judge N.K. Patil had submitted a report recommending 112 measures for tackling malnutrition in the State. Of them, the government has initiated steps to implement 87 recommendations, Mr. Bandi said.
Poverty, high percentage of female illiteracy, child marriage, discrimination, and diseases at birth are major causes for child malnutrition in the State, he said.
He said 15 hospitals have been identified in the district to provide treatment to newborns with illnesses, under the Bal Sanjeevini Abhyan scheme.
Not happy with the Minister’s reply, T.B. Jayachandra (Congress) alleged that the government has failed to tackle malnutrition in north Karnataka and promises remained only on the paper.
Mr. Khader said instead of providing nutritious food to children, the government has been experimenting with various types of food. Sharana Prakash Patil of the Congress suggested roping in NGOs for tracking children suffering from malnutrition in each district.
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