SHILLONG, Sept 13 - Meghalaya has one of the highest number of children over five years in the country who are either stunted or don’t get complementary food.
According to the State Social Welfare department, 43.8 per cent of the children over five years are stunted, which is above the national average of 38.4 per cent.
Timely introduction of complementary food is also poor in the State and over 67 per cent of the children don’t get such food. The national average of children not being fed complementary food is 42.7 per cent.
Moreover, cases of wasting, underweight and anaemia is also high in the State. Around 40.7 per cent of the children in the State are anaemic, 29 per cent underweight and 15.3 per cent wasting.
Launching the Rashtriya Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month) under Poshan Ahbhiyan or National Nutrition Mission, Meghalaya Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla said, all stakeholders must be made aware of Poshan Abhiyan so that measures could be taken to address the problem of malnutrition in the State.
Under the campaign, Anganwadi and Asha workers would be provided smart phones to eliminate register keeping and they would update the initiatives taken to the district and State servers. These data would be sent as weekly report to the Centre for monitoring under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Lunched by the Prime Minister in March 2018, the objective of the Poshan Abhiyaan is to eliminate malnutrition in the country by 2022. The Mission has been set up with a three year budget of Rs 9,046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.
However, Meghlaya is yet to prepare its budget proposal, but the Centre has initially sent an amount of Rs 11 crore as an installment to kickstart the Mission.