AHMEDABAD: As many as 41% of the children in the state are underweight and 55% of the women between 15 to 45 years of age in the state are anemic. This was revealed in a Rajya Sabha session on Thursday.
Union minister of state (independent charge) for women and child development, Krishna Tirath in Rajya Sabha gave the details of the number of women and children suffering from malnutrition. Tirath was replying to a question posed by Member of Parliament from Jharkhand, Parimal Nathwani.
The minister provided information based on the third national family health survey of 2005-06. The minister also informed that government gave priority to the issue of malnutrition and was implementing several schemes and programmes through state governments.
"During the 11th plan against the budget allocation 43,186.70 crore, the expenditure incurred under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme was Rs 43,829.53 crore," said Tirath. She added that the government introduced two new schemes during 2010-11 namely including Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) which is also known as SABLA and Indira Gandhi Matrutva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
The minister, however, made it clear that the responsibility of implementation of most of the government schemes lay in the hands of the state governments or union territories administration. The states have been advised from time to time to set up State Nutrition Council and other mechanisms to address the issue of malnutrition, she said.
The minister added that the Prime Minister Council on India's Nutrition Challenges has recently taken several decisions including strengthening and restructuring ICDS with special focus on pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children under three; preparation of a multi-sectoral programme in select 200 high-burden districts to address the maternal and child malnutrition; launch a nation-wide campaign against malnutrition. and bring strong nutrition focus in programmes related to health, drinking water supply, sanitation, school education, agriculture, food and public distribution.