Food being served at an Anganwadi centre in Ganjenar village. Photo/ANI
Food being served at an Anganwadi centre in Ganjenar village. Photo/ANI

C'garh launches unique initiative to tackle the menace of malnutrition

ANI | Updated: Jul 01, 2019 18:41 IST

Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) [India], July 1 (ANI): The state government has launched a unique initiative aimed at eliminating the menace of malnutrition by identifying malnourished children, pregnant women, and young girls and providing them with a nutrient-rich diet on a daily basis.
At Ganjenar village, the initiative has been met with a positive response. At Anganwadi centres, beneficiaries are given a nutritious diet of green vegetables, rice, chapatti, and egg once a day in the morning. The number of people coming for the meal is increasing daily.
The initiative has been extended to three other villages and will soon be extended to each block development area across Bastar district. The government, according to District Panchayat CEO Sachidanand Alok, has identified 28,700 people to be covered under the scheme. "The final number may increase further," said Alok.
He also informed the state is not using any external manpower. Rather, there is large scale community participation and everyone in the village is contributing happily to the scheme in order to eliminate malnutrition.
Panchayat secretary of Ganjenar, Ram Lal Nag, said: "Malnourishment is a big problem in the area. The underlying cause is the fact that our children don't have access to nutritious food. As a result, they are ending up malnourished."
Anganwadi worker Vijay Lakshmi pointed towards another reason for the menace of malnourishment. "Parents are unable to give proper care to their children as they are largely busy in making a living for their family through labour and farming."
Initially, the scheme was met with resistance primarily because the people in the area were habitual of eating only rice in their meal. The Anganwadi workers then educated them about the benefits of eating a nutritious meal and people are now happily eating the wholesome meal provided to them.
In addition to the nutritious meal, the scheme is also aimed at tackling nutrient deficiencies commonly seen in the area. For example, eggs are being given to address the deficiency of Vitamin B12. For iron deficiency, people are being given jaggery, green vegetables and for protein, soybean and roasted peanuts are added to the meal.
Alok further said the beneficiaries would also undergo a health check-up after six months to ascertain how many people have won over the malnutrition. The health check-ups will also include a blood test, detection of anemia, a disease commonly seen among the locals.
"Currently, our district has 36 per cent malnutrition rate. Through this scheme, by the end of six months, we aim to bring malnutrition rate down to the single digit, possibly even zero," added Alok. (ANI)

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