Malnourishment among kids rings alarm bells

Survey shows nutrition deficiency among 405 kids in Yadgir; parents poverty denies them two square meals a day

The situation is no better in the other taluks. In Surapura taluk, Chandramma (18 months) of Kamanatagi village weighs 4.6 kg and five-year-old Chandrasenanu of Agni village weighs a mere 4.5 kg.

These are just a few samples from a survey conducted by the Department of Health department and the Department of Women and Child Development, revealing startling figures of 405 undernourished children in the district - 118 children in Yadgir taluk, 67 in Shahapur taluk and 220 in Surapura taluk. The figures are expected to go up.

The survey, ordered by the Chief Executive Officer of the Yadgir Zilla Panchayat following news reports of severe malnutrition among children in neighbouring Raichur district, concluded in October. Though anganwadi centres provide nutritious food to 1.39 lakh children in the district, many suffer from malnourishment.

Abject poverty a reason
Officers from the two departments cite poverty of the parents as one of the main reasons for malnutrition.

An officer, on condition of anonymity, said that a child which receives one meal at an anganwadi centre may not get the other meal at home.

“The financial position in many families is so bad that parents do not have the money to spend on feeding their children. But a growing child needs more than one full meal,” the officer said.

The Department of Women and Child Development has taken steps to provide nutritious food to 53,337 children in the age group of six months to three years and 45,172 children in the age group of three to six years. The children are served bisibele bath two days a week and Nutri bisibele bath and kesari bath four days a week.

The Department has come up with a special scheme for malnourished children in the district. It usually spends Rs four a day to feed each child, but has decided to double the amount to Rs eight to feed the malnourished children. They will also be given tonics at a cost of Rs 750 per child per year.

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