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Malnutrition a blot on State, says Chouhan

ASSERTING THAT the high percentage of malnutrition in state is the biggest blot on it, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said that the state government was committed to remove the blot with cooperation of the Central government.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 01:46 IST

ASSERTING THAT the high percentage of malnutrition in state is the biggest blot on it, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said that the state government was committed to remove the blot with cooperation of the Central government.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Regional Consultation Meet on Nutrition being organised at the Academy of Administration here as the chief guest, he said that infrastructure and economic growth had no meaning if so many children in any country or state were malnourished. He stressed that the state government was committed to bring down the grade III and IV malnutrition in state at any cost and expressed hope that the consultation workshop would pave way towards this end.

‘Let us ensure that this workshop does not remain just an academic activity but really comes out with suggestions that will help in wiping the major problem facing the so-called BIMARU state,’ the Chief Minister appealed.

Chouhan also highlighted the need of concerted and coordinated efforts and said various issues including female foeticide, gender inequality, problems in PDS system, health care and others should be addressed to manage the problem effectively.
Union secretary of woman and child development Reva Nayyar presided over the inaugural session, while state minister for woman and child development Kusum Singh Mehdale, minister of state for the department Meena Singh and chief secretary Rakesh Sahni were prominently present.

Nayyar made a presentation titled `Nutrition as an instrument of human development’ highlighting the cost of malnutrition to the nation and the benefits of improved nutrition for economic growth and national development.

Mehdale, while pointing out that the Bal Sanjeevani Campaign had done a lot towards improving nutrition status in the state, conceded that there was still a long way to go. She highlighted the multifarious problems related to the malnutrition issue and urged the Central government to be more proactive towards finding solutions.

She urged the union secretary to consider hiking of the honorarium for the anganwadi workers and assistants and also to increase the budget for supplementary food distributed through anganwadi centres. She also urged the union secretary to come out with strict norms regarding distribution of tasty and varied delicious supplementary food and said that her department had already

made strides in this direction by providing different foods like soya biscuits, bread, chana-murmura (roasted grams and puffed rice) and even soya-wheat dalia khichdee to the children. She also said that the state government was seriously contemplating distribution of iron-rich toffees to the children on lines of Gujarat.

The minister also said that the state government was identifying the malnutrition problem areas and she would personally pay attention to these areas. Minister of state Meena Singh also sought better cooperation from Central government to tackle the problem.

Chief secretary Rakesh Sahni said that he knew that the problem of malnutrition was serious but now he has understood that it is truly perilous and only integrated efforts can help tackle the situation. He said that the state government was trying to seek cooperation from the private sector in this direction.

Principal secretary of the State DWCD Prashant Mehta made the introductory remarks while Union joint secretary Chaman Kumar proposed vote of thanks.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 01:46 IST