Karnataka has 3,549 malnourished children: Govt

Karnataka has 3,549 malnourished children: Govt

Karnataka has 3,549 malnourished children, Women and Child Development Minister Umashree told the state Assembly today even as she maintained that the death of a six-year-old girl in the city was due to pneumonia.

Rejecting Opposition BJP's demand for an inquiry into the girl's death, she said the child, who was also physically-challenged, was under the care of an Anganawadi centre since December as she was malnourished and her weight had actually increased from 10.8 kgs to 11.2 kgs as nutritious food was being given to her.

"She was suffering from pneumonia infection," the Minister said, but acknowledged that had the girl been healthy, she would have survived such an attack.

Umashree said the girl, whose mother was visually-impaired, was poverty-stricken and lived in unhygienic conditions, indicating that he might have been got the infection because of the unhealthy surroundings.

BJP Floor Leader, Jagadish Shettar, who raised the issue during zero hour, wanted the government to order an inquiry into the girl's death which, he said, is being debated at the national level, and punishment to the guilty, noting that her family didn't even get the below-poverty-line ration card.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Umashree said there is no need for a probe. Siddaramaiah said while the girl suffered from malnourishment, she died following a pnemonia attack.

During the reply, the Minister, citing a survey, said the State has 3,549 malnourished children, adding, steps were being taken to improve functioning of Integrated Child Development and Services scheme across the state.

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