Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The officials at directorate of women and child development department (WCD)in Bhopal were not amused when they received data from at least half a dozen districts, including Indore, claiming that there were no cases of severe acute malnourished (SAM) or moderate acute malnourished (MAM) children in their districts in February, March and April.
In a stern letter, dated May 11, the WCD commissioner Ram Rao Bhonsle, wrote, “That the number of SAM and MAM children has been recorded as zero continuously for the last three months, is not practical. The data provided is impractical.”
To ensure that there is a true reflection of ground reality in the data, the directorate has decided to conduct a series of 'Monthly Body Measurement Days' from '11th to the next 10 working days' of every month.
Bhonsle has ordered all the CDPOs to make a list of all the children from birth to 6 years and take physical measurements (weight and length/height) of a maximum of 15 children every day. While taking the measurements the parents\guardians of the children should also be informed.
The state government spends crores of rupees every month through the ‘Nourished Madhya Pradesh’ programme to identify and treat malnourishment among children, and the CDPOs must ensure that the programme is implemented.
Local officials admit that there must be some error in the data, but they blame it on the strike by the anganwadi workers. “During January and February, the workers went on strike and the entries made of malnutrition might have been affected. The department will reply to the higher authorities, ”said Meenakshi Harvansh, CDPO.
WCD joint director, Ramniwas Budholia, too agrees that there must be some error in the data entry "Having no children under SAM and MAM categories is truly impractical. There might have been errors in the data fed by the anganwadi workers, and the department is already plugging the loopholes. We will soon share the correct data,” he said.
Poshan Tracker to keep records of SAM and MAM
“During physical measurement days, the information of physical measurement (weight and length\height) should be entered on the same day by the worker in the Poshan Tracker App. Along with this, we will ensure uniformity of the reported data with entered data in the monthly progress from May 2023,” Bhonsle said in his letter.
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