The Karnataka High Court on Monday constituted a committee headed by its former judge, Justice AN Venugopala Gowda, to monitor the identification, medical examination and treatment of malnourished children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The beach headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice SS Magadum passed the order while it was hearing a suo motu PIL, initiated by the High Court in 2011, related to the issue of malnourished children in the state.
According to The New Indian Express, the other committee members include, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Department, Director of Women and Child Development, Chairperson of Karnataka State Commission of Child Rights, M S Tara, former regional director of National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, Director of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, and Member-Secretary of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and advocate Clifton D' Rozario.
Several Anganwasis were shut since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the hearing, the court's attention was drawn on the matter as the number of malnourished children has increased.
The government has supplied nutritious food to children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers through various schemes. Despite this, the situation has not improvised much.
In 2012, the High Court had appointed a committee under Justice NK Patil's chairmanship, which recommended several measures to tackle malnutrition.
The question raised by the Karnataka High Court last week during hearing asked the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the existing malnutrition situation in the state. After recognising the seriousness of the issue, the committee was formed by the High Court so that adequate steps could be taken to improve the health situation in the state.