Raipur: Chief Minister’s Nutrition campaign, started in October 2019 with an aim of eradicating malnutrition from Chhattisgarh, is yielding positive results. Over 4.33 lakh children in the state were identified as malnourished as of January 2019. With the effective implementation of the scheme, nearly one-third of 32 per cent of identified malnourished children has been freed from malnutrition till May this year, said officials on Tuesday.
Considering the rate of malnutrition and anemia among women and children are shown in the data of National Family Health Survey-four, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel initiated the campaign to eradicate malnutrition and anemia in the state. According to National Family Survey-4, 37.7 per cent of children below 5 years of age in the state were suffering from malnutrition and 47 per cent of women in the age group of 15 to 49 years were suffering from anemia, a government spokesperson stated.
The campaign was started as a pilot project in some gram panchayats of the forest region including the Naxal-affected Bastar division. This was carried forward through innovative programmes like distribution of hot nutritious food through Panchayats in Dantewada district and 'Laika Jatan Thaur' in Dhamtari district. Arrangements were made to provide hot-cooked food by ensuring better utilization of DMF. Considering its success, chief minister expanded the scheme to the entire state.
Under this campaign, in addition to the supplementary nutritional food is given to the identified children at the Anganwadi center, arrangements have been made to distribute free nutritious food at local-level to the malnourished women and children. Nutritious and delicious food made from eggs, Ladoos, gram, jaggery, sprouted grains, milk, fruits, groundnut and jaggery chikki, soya brisket, porridge, soya chikki, and munga bhaji along with hot-cooked food are also being provided to the beneficiaries. Awareness has also been created about locally available vegetables and nutritious items, as a result of which the nutrition-level of children and women have started improving. In collaboration with the health department, iron folic acid, anthelmintic tablets are being provided to the anemia affected.
Despite the closure of all Anganwadi and Mini Anganwadi centers due to coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, Anganwadi workers and assistants of 51, 455 Anganwadi centers in the state distributed ready-to-eat nutritious food to 28.78 lakh beneficiaries at their doorstep. Under the Supplementary Nutrition Food Programme, ready-to-eat is being distributed to the children of age group six months to six years, pregnant, lactating women and adolescent girls. To achieve the goal of 'Malnutrition-free Chhattisgarh' in the next three years, Department of Women and Child Development, Health Department and other departments coordinated efforts are making consistent and coordinated efforts, the official said.
In Balod district, 12, 481 children were identified as malnourished on January 2019, out of which 1402 children have been freed from malnutrition. Similarly, 6032 children out of 30,917 in Balodabazar, 14,106 children out of 27,352 in Balrampur-Ramanujganj district, 3633 children out of 15, 753 in Bastar, 354 children out of 12,429 in Bemetara, 3993 out of 12, 429 children in Bijapur, 8492 out of 29, 354 in Bilaspur, 2168 out of 8115 in Dantewada, 605 out of 7144 in Dhamtari, 6983 out of 12, 810 in Durg, 5173 out of 11, 658 in Gariyaband, 8463 out of 17, 869 malnourished children identified in Janjgir-Champa district have been cured of malnutrition.