Chandigarh: The holistic strategies adopted by the Haryana Government have resulted in substantial improvement in nutritional status of children, Women and Child Development Minister, Geeta Bhukkal told the state Assembly on Wednesday.
Under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, the percentage of children in normal grade which was 43.93 per cent in 1991-92 has improved to 56.74 per cent in March 2012 and grade-II children who suffer from moderate malnutrition, have decreased from 20.60 per cent in 1991-92 to 10.31 per cent in March 2012, she said.
The Grade-I children, suffering from mild malnutrition, are 32.90 per cent which is very close to normal grade, the Minister said, adding therefore, a total of 89.64 per cent children are in normal or very close to normal grade whereas in 1991-92 there were 77.86 per cent children in this category.
Bhukkal was replying to a calling attention notice given by Congress MLA Sampat Singh in the ongoing session of the assembly here.
On Sampat Singh mentioning in his notice that "depressing figures of child malnutrition have been shown in the Hyderabad Nandi Foundation study, `HUNGAMA`, released recently, Bhukkal told the House that the Foundation has conducted survey in 106 districts of six states of Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and in six districts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.
"The Foundation has not conducted any survey in Haryana state...," she clarified.
Bhukkal said that the Department of Women and Child Development has recently assigned the work of assessment of malnutrition among children in the age of 0-5 years in Haryana to the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
"This will enable an accurate picture to emerge so as to further refine interventions to tackle the menace of malnutrition," she said.
The Women and Child Development Department is implementing the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme in 148 ICDS projects including 21 urban projects with a huge network of 25,311 operational Anganwadi centres for providing supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check up, referral services, non-formal pre-school education and health and nutrition education to children below six years of age, pregnant and nursing mothers.
The State Government is spending Rs 164.16 crore and Rs 334.19 crore respectively under Supplementary Nutrition and ICDS general programme in the current financial year, she added.
In Haryana, out of the 32.98 lakh children of 0 to 6 years (as per census, 2011), 23.62 lakh children are being provided ICDS services and out of these 10.88 lakh children are covered under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme, she said.