Over 8 lakh malnourished children in Gujarat; Vadodara records highest numbers
AHMEDABAD: There are over 8 lakh malnourished children
in Gujarat, the state legislative assembly was informed. According to figures
tabled in the state legislature on Friday, there are over 8.44 lakh children
who are underweight as per ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services), as on
December 31, 2013. Of these, 62,500 children are severely underweight, informed
the state government in a written reply to an un-starred question by Congress
MLA Tejashree Patel.
Strangely, Vadodara had the highest number of children
— over 65,800 — who are underweight as per the ICDS norms for malnourishment.
The district also has an additional 5900 children who are severely underweight.
The tribal district of Dahod along with the state’s
most urbanised district of Ahmedabad have the second and third highest number
of underweight children, respectively. While Dahod has 56600 under-weight and
3500 severely underweight children, Ahmedabad has 55,500 underweight and 5700
severely underweight children, the state government figures reveal.
There are similar high number of malnourished children
in some of the districts like Banaskantha (55,400), Sabarkantha (53,300) and
The reply also talks about the various state
government schemes like Mission Bal Sukham that is being run to address the
grave issue of malnutrition in the state. The government has also been
providing “Nutri-candy”, fruits (twice a week), to children between the age
groups of 3-6 years in anganwadis. Children in tribal areas are also given milk
twice a week, the reply added.