August 10, 2019 1:08:58 am
The Chhattisgarh government has announced that it will launch a scheme that will provide “free nutritious food” to those that suffer from malnutrition and anaemia in the state on a daily basis.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel made the announcement on Friday — the International Day of World’s Indigenous People — and said that while initial pilot projects are already in operation in Bastar, the scheme would first be launched on October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and would extend to the ten “aspirational districts in the state”.
Baghel said that the state government has set themselves a target to eradicating malnutrition and anaemia within the next three years.
“This campaign was initiated as pilot project in Bastar region from July 2019 and it will be soon conducted in other aspirational districts of the state as well. In this campaign of anemia and malnutrition eradication, maximum participation of renowned charitable organisations, public representatives, NGOs, media groups and other competent people of the districts will be ensured. Chief Minister has appealed local representatives and all the sections of society to actively participate in this campaign,” a government release said.
Government officials said that data released by Niti Aayog says 37.60 per cent children below the age of 5 years in Chhattisgarh are suffering from malnutrition, while 41.50 per cent women in the state are suffering from anemia.
“Every year lakhs of children die because of malnutrition and anemia, lakhs of children are born underweight, they suffer from growth issues, their mental and physical development is adversely affected, and difficulties become part of their lives right from the time of birth. Some serious strategic measures are required to redress this problem,” Baghel said.
Government officials said that each gram panchayat will compile a list of those suffering from malnutrition and anaemia, cross referenced with physical indicators.
“Funds for implementation of this programme will be sanctioned every month from DMF (district mineral funds), CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds, and basic funds of respective panchayats or by respective development authorities and each of the gram panchayats will maintain daily record of people being benefitted under the programme,” a senior official said.
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