Nutrition centres draw in tribal mothers to provide better diet for kids in Odisha
-The New Indian Express
JEYPORE (Odisha): Awareness on safe childhood under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of the State Government is gaining ground in tribal areas, with mothers rushing to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) for providing a healthy diet to their children.
About 120 children suffering from malnutrition are brought to the NRCs every month, said sources.
According to sources, the Health & Family Welfare Department and Child & Woman Welfare Department have been struggling to provide a safe childhood for tribal kids considering that 30 per cent children up to 5 years are underweight or suffering from malnutrition.
The departments had engaged ICDS staff to identify children with such deficiencies in every village under the nutrition programme being carried out in Jeypore and Koraput sub-divisions. The village ASHA workers are responsible for taking mother and her malnourished child listed by ICDS staff to Ravanaguda and Koraput NRCs for proper rehabilitation and feeding.
They are sheltered at the centres for 15 days and provided medical help and nutrition. As an incentive, the district health department has been paying every mother `50 as daily wage during their stay at the centre.
The scheme has not only lured the mothers, who were earlier reluctant to take their underweight children to NRCs, but has also led to a decline in the number of malnourished children.
“We are getting a good response from the beneficiaries and they have been getting all medical support”, said Rasmita, a caretaker of Ravanaguda NRC.
Meanwhile, NGOs and social activists working in the district have suggested that NRCs be opened in each block headquarters to check malnutrition.