BANGALORE: A high power committee set up by the state government under the chairmanship of the ministry of Women and Child Welfare Department and other civil societies, has revealed that out of the 68,55,801 children below the age of six, only 37,74,267 children are enrolled in Anganwadis, and out of these, only 11,29,947 are moderately malnourished, while 71,605 are severely malnourished.
Taking note of this, South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) demanded a scientific approach towards providing nutritious food for children between 6 and 15 year age group. Also, they demanded an increase in funds in the Budget, to eradicate malnutrition. Mathew Philips, director, SICHREM said, “The government has flouted the rules set by the Union Government, which directs that no packaged food should be supplied to children in Anganwadis, and only food prepared by Stree Shakthi groups should be served. However, the government has allegedly given the contract to Christy Fried Gram Industry in Tamil Nadu, which supplies packaged food to children. The standard of this food does not meet the nutrition levels as suggested in ICDS guidelines (Integrated Child Development Services).”
He further added, “On the other hand, as per the target of Eleventh Five-Year-Plan, the state government had to reduce malnutrition in children below the age of three, from 41.1 per cent to 20.6 per cent, but this is also not achieved. Last year, nearly 4,531 children were severely malnourished in Raichur.”