Chhattisgarh steps up war against malnutrition amid Covid-19


Chhattisgarh has started ‘Chief Minister Suposhan Abhiyan’ with an aim to eradicate malnutrition keeping in view the special COVID precautions.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a statement on Monday said, “Under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme, the ready-to-eat meal is being distributed to children in the age group of six months to six years, pregnant women, infants and adolescent girls.”

The Anganwadis have been opened up with proper safety measures with the consent of the public representatives and parents at the COVID infection-free places in the state to maintain the state’s fight over malnutrition and to avoid infection among the children. The arrangements have been made to provide warm food to the beneficiaries under the Chief Minister’s ‘Suposhan Abhiyan’ keeping their safety in mind, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister added.

According to data received from the ‘weight festival’ in the scheme launched last year, nearly 4,92,000 children were malnourished in the state of which more than 67,000 children have become malnutrition-free.

Baghel said that there has been a 13.79 percent decrease in malnourished children, which is a major achievement in the state’s war against malnutrition. In a short span of time, the rate of malnutrition has decreased significantly in the state.

After the formation of a new government in Chhattisgarh, the campaign to free the state from malnutrition and anemia was started, keeping in mind the rate of malnutrition and anemia among the women and children, according to data by the National Family Health Survey-4.

According to the National Family Survey-4, 37.7 percent of children under five years were suffering from malnutrition, and 47 percent of women between 15 and 49 years were suffering from anemia. A majority of the malnourished children hailed from tribal and remote forest areas in the state.

‘Suposhan Abhiyan’ was started as a pilot project in some Gram Panchayats of the forest-cover regions, including Naxal-affected Bastar. This was further upgraded with innovative programs such as serving warm nutritious food via Panchayats in Dantewada district and the ‘Laika Jattan Thaur’ initiative in Dhamtari district. Arrangements were made to provide hot and nutritious food under the ‘Suposhan Abhiyan’ making better use of the District Mineral Trust Fund.

Additional nutrients are provided along with the warm food in the diet by adding delicious meals prepared out of eggs, laddus (sweets), chickpea, jaggery, sprouted grains, milk, fruit, peanuts, chikki, soya bean, oatmeal, soya chikki, and munga bhaji.

Anemic people are provided with iron-folic acid tablets and anthelmintic tablets with the support of the Health Department. With a vision of freeing the state from malnutrition in the next three years, coordinated efforts are being constantly made by the Women and Child Development department, Health authorities, and other coordinated agencies.

The government has instructed to maintain the nutritional level of children and women amid the closure of all Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centers for prevention and control of Covid-19 infection in the state, distribution of ready-to-eat nutritious food has been ensured for each and every house for nearly 28,78,000 beneficiaries in 51,455 Anganwadi centers with the support of Anganwadi workers and assistants.


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