Mothers, kid compete to swallow boiled eggs in Odisha

-The Hindu

Angul Pusti Adhikar Abhiyan, a community level forum organized this ‘egg relay competition’ to promote intake of nutritious food.

BHUBANESWAR:
When there is a lot of taboo around consumption of egg and chicken products among women in remote Odisha villages, mothers competing with their kids in swallowing boiled eggs in Angul district is surely an unusual sight.

But Angul Pusti Adhikar Abhiyan (APAA), a community level forum promoting intake of nutritious food, could not have thought of a better way than organising a novel ‘egg relay competition’ to showcase nutritional value of eggs for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers on Friday.

In six villages Purunakote, Barasahi, Baliposi, Kunjam, Karadapal and Saida where egg relay competitions were organised coinciding with the ongoing observance of Poshan (nutrition) month, women, local public representatives, anganwadi workers (AWW) and ASHA members came together in one platform to underline the need of relevance of eggs in dietary and fight malnutrition.

Odisha is one of the few leading States in the country that provide eggs to combat under-nutrition. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal are other States where egg is an important component in the food basket offered in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP).

The State government provides five eggs a week for children aged 3-6 years in Anganwadi centres and 3 eggs a week each to pregnant mothers, lactating mothers and children aged 6 months – 3 years as Take-home Ration under SNP.

A recent social audit report released by Collective Action for Nutrition (CAN) from six KBK districts including Balangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Nuapada of Odisha said that most of the beneficiaries do not receive the stipulated number of eggs. “On an average a beneficiary receives eight eggs per month out of entitled twelve eggs,” says the report.

The APAA survey has also found that pregnant women received only 50% of eggs as THR (Take Home Ration) entitlement in the last six months. It is due to lack of awareness among women.

“Even though the AWC provides 12 eggs for the mother’s consumption, the whole household ends up eating those eggs. Through awareness programmes like these, we want to ensure that the community understands the importance of mother and child consuming those eggs,” said Bidyut Mohanty, Convenor of APAA.

The awareness among women in southern Odisha district like Koraput is very low. “I have no idea as to how much eggs are provided per month. All eggs meant for me are shared by other family members,” said Tula Paraja of Pujariguda village in Koraput. (EOM)

The Hindu, 7 September, 2019, please click here to access 

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