Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani stressed on the need for more coordination among the Central Ministries, States and Panchayati Raj institutions to eradicate malnutrition.
Replying to a Calling attention motion on POSHAN Abhiyan in the Rajya Sabha, Mrs Irani said, the government has launched the Abhiyan in 2017 with a budgetary allocation of over nine thousand crore rupees.
She said, the Abhiyan aims at reducing malnutrition in the country in a phased manner through a life cycle approach. She said, the target of the scheme to bring down stunting of the children in the age group of zero to six years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.
The minister listed out other measures including scheme for adolescent girls, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana as well as efforts of other concerned Ministries to counter the malnutrition.
The Minister said, the Centre has enhanced the budgetary allocation for Aanganwadi Services from 10 thousand crore rupees in 2010-12 to 19 thousand crore rupees. She said the West Bengal Government has not implemented so far the POSHAN Abhiyan and urged the state to adopt it.
Participating in the discussion, Kahkashan Perween of JD(U) wondered why the country can not eradicate malnutrition when it defeated Polio. Jaya Bachhan of Samajwadi Party stressed on the need for creating awareness at Panchayat level for women to take proper diet. Sampatiya Uikey of BJP highlighted government steps to address the problem.
Amee Yagnik of Congress called for targetted scheme and multi-pronged strategy. Manoj Jha of RJD and others also participated in the debate. (AIR NEWS)