KOCHI: Sampushta Keralam, an initiative to improve the nutrition of children and women, will now be implemented statewide.
The project which is aligned with the Centre’s POSHAN Abhiyaan was earlier limited to four districts. The state has sanctioned Rs 57.44 crore for executing the project in the remaining 10 districts. The project which eyes targeted groups of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children below six years of age, also intends to address obesity among women and promotion of breastfeeding in the state.
“It was in August the Kerala Nutrition Mission, named as Sampushta Keralam was implemented in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad and Malappuram. Now it has been decided to implement it in the remaining districts also,” said Sheeba George, director, Women and Child Development Department (WCDD).
She said WCDD will soon procure smartphones and growth monitoring devices. She said as the project is a convergence of 22 different departments, WCDD as the implementing agency will coordinate various community-level activities among them.
“The activities mainly focuses on preventing and reducing stunting, addressing the prevalence of underweight, reduce the prevalence of anaemia and reduction of low birth rate,” added Sheeba.
An officer of WCDD said for the implementation of the project in 10 districts, 27,598 smartphones and 24,581 growth monitoring devices will be required. Along with data plan, training on Information and Communication Technology enabled Real-Time Monitoring will also have to be provided. The officer also added that the implementation of the project is subject to the decisions of the State Level Sanctioning Committee.
However, it is learnt that though the nod for the implementation of the project in the remaining ten districts had come from the Ministry of Women and Child Development in December itself and an amount of Rs 48.47 crore was also sanctioned, the tussle between the WCDD and the Finance Department had curtailed the pace of implementation of Sampushta Keralam.