Govt, corporates, NGOs to form body to tackle malnutrition | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Govt, corporates, NGOs to form body to tackle malnutrition

The government is planning to create a new body constituting corporate groups, non-profit organisations and philanthropists to tackle child malnutrition.

mumbai Updated: Nov 02, 2012 01:42 IST
Priyanka Vora

The government is planning to create a new body constituting corporate groups, non-profit organisations and philanthropists to tackle child malnutrition.

The state women and child department said the body would ensure community participation in the plans to reduce the number of malnourished children in the state, especially in urban slums.

Apart from representatives from corporate companies and donors, the group will have participation from government and non-profit groups that provide community services in areas of the city.

“The government has the infrastructure, non-profit groups have the commitment to the cause, and there are companies and individuals who want to donate but don’t know how to do it,” said Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, state women and child development department.

The proposed society will provide a platform from where these companies, under their corporate social responsibility, can select the aanganwadis or children they want to sponsor. “The aanganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) are providing cooked snacks and micronutrient powder, but that is supplementary food. Owing to poverty, children in slums only survive on this food and hence their growth is less,” said Uke.

With the help of the society, children can be provided with proper meals, which will result in adequate weight gain, said experts.

Unlike in rural districts where mother’s can take their child to the farms, in urban slums both parents work and the child is left alone. “We need mobile crèches at construction sites and day care centre’s in slums to give these children a hygienic environment and care during their growing years. Public-private partnership is the need of the hour to tackle malnutrition in Mumbai where the slum population is increasing,” said Vandana Krishna, director general of RJMC Health and Nutrition Mission, an advisory body to the ICDS.

Officials from RJMC Health and Nutrition Mission are already in talks with various companies to have such facilities. “Even individuals can volunteer to teach at aanganwadis,” said Krishna.