SOCIO-ECONOMIC REVIEWHimanshu.Kaushik & Kapil.Dave@timesgroup.com
Ahmedabad: The state government has admitted that Gujarat has 1.11lakh malnourished children. Of those children, 19,980 are severely malnourished. The socio-economic review 2017-18, however, states that children up to five years of age were screened and 29,442 were identified as severely acute malnourished (SAM) and 1,89,841 were identified as moderate acute malnourished (MAM).
In a written reply to several questions asked in the state assembly, the government tabled the figures of malnourished and severely malnourished children of all the 33 districts in the state. The data tabled revealed that Vadodara district had the highest number of malnourished children. The district headed the chart with 7,625 malnourished children. Dahod was the second worst, with 7,419 malnourished children.
The data reveals that the maximum number of severely malnourished children were in Banaskantha (5,681) followed by Surendranagar (1,144). Vibhavari Dave, the minister of state of women & child development, stated in her written reply: “To control malnutrition, the government is supplying nutrition-rich food to the children.” Dave said that at angwanwadi centres, fresh breakfast and lunch — as well as fruits for two days a week — were being served to needy children. The reply further stated that under the Dudh Sanjivani scheme, in all tribal districts, children in the age group of six months to three years are being given 100ml flavoured milk.
The 2017-18 review says Kuposhan Mukt Gujarat Maha-Abhiyan (Phase–III) was carried out between June 15, 2017, and August 31, 2017, in which 57.02 lakh children up to five years of age were screened for various nutrition parameters. The 2015-16 review stated that among 43 lakh children of all anganwadi centers of Gujarat, 1.47 lakh were as SAM. The number has dropped considerably and the SAM children are now MAM children.