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‘Unicef girl’ helps malnourished kids

Anita, UNICEF's star girl, is on a new mission as she undertakes a whirlwind tour of villages in Muzaffarpur, taking weight of undernourished children and helping them overcome the endemic disease, reports Khwaja Jamal.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2008 02:58 IST
Khwaja Jamal
Khwaja Jamal
Hindustan Times

Once a ‘star girl,’ always a ‘star girl.’ Anita from Patyasa, a sleepy hamlet under Bochahan block of the district, is now seen in the role of a mother.

In 2006, Anita hit the headlines when she was declared ‘star girl’ of the Unicef by the then President, APJ Abdul Kalam, in recognition of her hard work to empower herself by achieving economic independence through bee-keeping.

Equipped with a weighing machine provided by the UNICEF, she is on a whirlwind tour of villages taking weight of undernourished children for their admission to the malnutrition centre established in Saraiya block of the district.

The Unicef set up the centre in Saraiya area last year to keep children on a month-long diet regimen to help them overcome malnutrition. Even the parents, particularly mothers, are being taught lessons in health and hygiene at the centre.

Talking to HT, a buoyant Anita said she was going from door to door in villages for weighing children and help them overcome the endemic malnutrition. Her new mission began on January 8. “I feel immense pleasure in looking after malnourished children belonging to the minority community and downtrodden sections and help them overcome malnutrition by providing dietary supplements and guidance,” the Unicef girl said.

She has already visited Patyasa, Sharfuddinpur, Jalan, Rampur and Jaipal villages and weighed up countless children residing in huts along Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga road (NH 57) and identified more than 25 children as being malnourished.

“First, I weigh children and then convince their mothers about the necessity of paying due attention to the health and hygiene of their off springs,” said Anita. “My campaign to create awareness and awakening among mothers about proper health care and hygiene of children will continue in the days to come to fight malnutrition among children of lesser gods,” she added.