Minister agrees with PM on malnutrition

Women and Child Development Minister C C Patil on Thursday sought to launch new schemes and hike allocation for the supplementary nutrition programme of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) from the Centre to eradicate malnutrition in the State.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Patil said he shared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s view that malnourishment was “a national shame”. Patil said he would soon write to the Prime Minister on the issues specific to the State regarding child nutrition.

“It is estimated that there are 61,000 children suffering from malnutrition especially in the districts of Raichur, Koppal, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Bagalkot,” Patil said.

He said the proposed new food programme for children in anganwadi centres in the State with emphasis on local tastes and habits would be launched from Gadag on January 17. At  present, Rs 4.50 is being spent per meal, including the central grant of Rs 2. The government has proposed to the Centre to increase the allocation by Rs 3 per child, he said.

Children would be served ‘rave unde’, ragi, ‘akki payasa’, ‘puliyogare’, ‘chitranna’, rice and ‘sambar’, which would cost Rs 4.50 per child.

He refuted reports of children’s deaths being caused by malnutrition in Devadurga in Raichur and said medical reports had confirmed that the deaths were caused by diseases like juvenile diabetes, lack of access to vaccinations and consanguineous marriages.

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