The Budget 2012 is set to boost the fight against child malnutrition as fund allocation for the concerned schemes has been increased by 58%. Moreover, Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) in each village will be given the additional task of acting as the nodal authority to implement government schemes.
At present, though various schemes are in place to fight child malnutrition, not much has been done for coordinated implementation at the village level. Now, Asha workers would act as convenor of the village health and sanitation committee, apart from duties related to other health programmes.
The budget also lays more emphasis on rural healthcare as fund allocation for the National Rural Health Mission has been increased from Rs. 18,115 crore to Rs. 20,822 crore.
As promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a multi-sectoral programme to address maternal and child malnutrition would be implemented in 200 districts. It will be part of the restructured Integrated Child Development Scheme, for which allocation has been increased from Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 15,850 crore.