41% children underweight, 55% women anemic in Gujarat:central minister informs Parimal Nathwani in Rajya Sabha
Ahmedabad, 10 May 2012
The magnitude of problem of malnutrition among children and anemia amongst women in India in general and the State of Gujarat is grave, if the data presented today in the rajya sabha by the ministry of women and child development is any indication. As per 3rd National Family Health Survey of 2005-06, as many as 40.4 per cent of children under three years of age were underweight and 55.3 per cent women in the age group of 15-49 years were anemic in the country. The figures for Gujarat also matched the national average. Prevalence of underweight children in Gujarat was 41.1 per cent and the anemia in women of 15-45 years of age was 55.3 per cent.
This was revealed in the statement issued by the union minister of state for women and child development Smt. Krishna Tirath in rajya sabha to-day in reply to the question from Mr.Parimal Nathwani.
The minister went on to say that the government has accorded priority to the issue of malnutrition and was implementing several schemes/programmes through state governments/union territories. During the 11th plan against the budget allocation of 43,186.70 crore, the expenditure incurred under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme was Rs 43,829.53 crore; she said and added that the government introduced two new schemes during 2010-11 namely (i) Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) known as SABLA and (ii) Indira Gandhi Matrutva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
She further said that the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was introduced during 11th Five Year Plan.
The minister also informed the Parliament that the Prime Minister’s Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges recently took decisions to (i) strengthen and restructure ICDS with special focus on pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children under three (ii) prepare a multi-sectoral programme in selected 200 high burden districts to address the maternal and child malnutrition (iii) launch a nation-wide campaign against malnutrition and (iv) bring strong nutrition focus in programmes related to health, drinking water supply, sanitation, school education, agriculture, food and public distribution.
Work on all these issues was in progress; the minister said and added that the proposed Food Security Bill contemplated provision of supplementary nutrition under the ICDS scheme and maternity benefits for pregnant and lactating mothers thereby contributing to food security.
The minister, however, made it clear that the responsibility of implementation of most of the government schemes lay with the state governments/union territories administration. The states have been advised from time to time to set up a State Nutrition Council and other mechanisms to address the issue of malnutrition, she said.
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