Udupi, Oct 15, 2015: The Legislative Committee on Women and Child Development on Oct 14, directed the Women and Child Development Department to undertake a comprehensive survey about malnourished children in the State. The committee was reviewing the implementation of various welfare schemes for women, children, differently abled, senior citizens and sexual minorities in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan.
When committee members doubted the figures on the number of malnourished children provided by respective district officials, Committee Chairman Malikaya Guttedar said a fresh and comprehensive survey has to be done and a report should be submitted to the committee.
Committee member S.V. Sankanur said though the Integrated Child Development Project has been in vogue since 2006, it is surprising that still children suffer from malnutrition. He said the officials appear to have prepared the reports without proper field investigations.
Udupi DC Dr R. Vishal said that though the department has enough anganwadi workers [to conduct the survey], proper supervision has been lacking as many posts of supervisors and child development project officers (CDPO) were vacant for years. Provide ground-level workers and results will follow he urged the committee, prompting Guttedar to say that the government would be directed to fill these posts.
Nutrition : DC Dr Vishal, who is a medical doctor, said malnutrition begins from the time when a child is in the mother’s womb. While 30 per cent of women are anaemic, around 60 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic. They have to be provided enough nutrients, including iron, sucrose and micro nutrients, he urged the committee.
When the committee was inquiring about measures taken to monitor ultrasound scanning centres and prevent female foeticide, district health officers said the functioning is regularly monitored. There have not been any female foeticides, they claimed. DC Dr Vishal suggested to the panel to recommend linking the scanning centres online to the Deputy Commissioner’s offices in the respective districts to allow a comprehensive monitoring of scanning. Though the male-female ratio in Udupi (1,095 females for 1,000 males) is encouraging, it was 1,130 for 1,000 in 2001; and a decline of 35 in female figures is alarming, he said.