Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Due to continuous efforts of Women and Child Development department, the cases of malnourished children in the district are declining. However, there still lies a communication gap and basic understanding among parents, who are often responsible for their child’s malnourished state.
“There is a gap between parents' understanding and our efforts as it is necessary for them to understand the importance of a child's health. In slum areas, parents are generally working as labourers and do not give proper attention to the development and health of their child”, said Meenakshi Harvansh, CDPO, women and child development.
Meenakshi said that the biggest reason for cases of malnutrition coming up is due to lack of education and awareness. “Our department aims to acknowledge every child who is malnourished and provide them with the facilities that they require, but the major hindrance is that while during counselling, parents promise that proper attention will be paid, and when during inspection we find that the child is being neglected”, she informed Free Press.
Officials said that the government provides ‘Poshan Aahar’ to the children, which includes meals twice a day and special care is provided to the children who are in the red zone giving them meals 3 times a day. But taking proper care is the responsibility of the parents.
From March, the number of malnourished children is declining. For children who were severely affected, the count has come down to 4 children in the past three months, while the children who were moderately affected have dropped to 84 which were 94 earlier. CDPO said that their aim is not only to bring the numbers down but to eradicate malnutrition from the city.
Government schemes to combat malnutrition
Officials informed that there are various schemes that are run regularly by the department for malnourished children, which include Mukhyamantri Bal Samvardhan Yojna initiated to look after the working of government projects and organisations working on projects. Nutrition Rehabilitation centers that focus on distribution of meals to the required category of children. Poshan Aahar, Poshan Matka, Poshan Baagh are some of the creative initiatives which help feed the children in coordination with some social organisations.
Adopt an Anganwadi is a scheme where people who intend to help the needy can adopt an Anganwadi and pay for its infrastructure and raw material required for cooking food.
Count of malnourished children in zone 7 of the city (including most of the slums)
Month Severely affected Moderately affected
February 9 94
March 5 85
April 4 84