Let's take up the responsibility of a well-nourished India together with the economic future of the country: Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development at the Nutrition Council at Kevadia
Request to identify severely malnourished children and focus on their proper nutrition treatment
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani has said that with the economic future of the country, the responsibility of a well-nurtured India must be shared. She called upon all to be committed to eradicate malnutrition from the country by taking up the nutrition month starting tomorrow in the form of mass movement across the country.
She added that the Prime Minister Narendra Bhai Modi wants not only empowerment of women but also women lead in all fields. Smriti Irani added that according to a 2010 World Bank report, India suffered an economic loss of Rs 24,000 crore due to a shortage of toilets in India. There is a loss of four per cent in GDP due to malnutrition as per study in 2018.
Smriti Irani was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day National Conference organized by the Department of Women and Child Development at Kevadia. The Union Minister added that since the year 2018 till now, even in the midst of the covid epidemic, a mass movement has been launched against malnutrition by carrying out about 16 crore activities with public cooperation in accordance with the prescribed protocol. She said that all aspiring districts of the country should be committed to establish nutrition vatika during the nutrition month.
Identifying severely malnourished children (SAMs) is not enough, but to ensure that such children are treated appropriately in a timely manner, the minister said. The number of such children in the country used to be around 80 lakh but now it has come down to only 10 lakh. During the month they will concentrate on such children and bring them in nourished state. She said that in coordination with every department in all the districts of the country, infrastructural facilities would be set up along with the construction of Anganwadi houses.
She added that out of 14 lakh Anganwadis in the country, 9 lakh Anganwadis have been provided with growth monitoring devices while mobiles will be provided in the remaining Anganwadis during the nutrition month. One Stop Centers would be set up in all the districts of the country, adding that a conversion model for Working Women Hostels would be created across the country.
She said that for the protection of children, J.J. Act has also been amended to empower the Collector to adopt children at the district level. She gave details of the work being done for women and children by the National Commission for Women, National Child Protection Commission.
Addressing the National Nutrition Conference hosted by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, Gujarat, the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Ganpat Singh Vasava said that the conference has discussed a wide range of issues and received suggestions which will be very useful in building a malnutrition free India.
He said that from the time Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat to the present Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Gujarat has been doing an excellent job in matters including nutrition, security, education and dignity of women and children in Gujarat. In fact, Gujarat took the initiative to form a separate Women and Child Development Department during PM Modi's tenure.
He said that under the integrated system of maintaining health and nutrition, Gujarat Medicinal Products based AYUSH THR project is going to start.
Giving details of exemplary work of Women and Child Development Department, he said that to improve the nutritional status of children in the tribal areas, nutrition enhanced and delicious milk is being provided to about 12 lakh children under Dudh Sanjeev scheme. So in other areas, with the help of milk unions, milk is being provided to 42 lakh children on a no-profit-no-loss basis.
Take home ration is given to protect the health of the child. With the help of THR Anganwadi workers, the beneficiary children have been delivered 11000 metric tonnes at home. Gujarat has made arrangements to take care of the nutrition of pregnant women and adolescents. TRH is constantly monitored from the point of production to the beneficiary.
Matters related to women and child development are constantly monitored by the Chief Minister under the arrangement of Dash Board.
He said that permanent houses of Anganwadis of the state have been constructed and facilities of electricity, water, cooking gas have been provided. Gujarat has taken initiative to provide uniforms to the children of Anganwadis. He gave details including the Mata Yashoda Award to commend the excellent performance of the Anganwadi workers.
He said the government has given them warmth by making arrangements to accept the guardianship of children who lost their parents in corona under the Chief Minister's Child Service Scheme.
Giving details of setting up of 182 Abhayam Mahila Suraksha Helpline for women's security, women's court in every mandal of the state for resolving domestic disputes, he said that the state government gives priority to women and child development, nutrition, health protection and all-round development.
He thanked Smriti Irani for giving Gujarat the opportunity to host the Nutrition Council and choosing Kevadia for it. Dr. Mahendra Munjpara, Minister of State in the Government of India, Indewar Pandey, Union Secretary for Women and Child Welfare, K.K. Nirala, Ministers and Secretaries of various States and Union Territories participated in Various sessions of this conference.