In Maharashtra's three tribal-dominated districts, one-fourth of the children are severely malnourished, as per the latest survey by anganwadis conducted in April. In total, 60.6 lakh children were surveyed and over 10 per cent were found to be underweight.
Out of the 83,909 children found severely underweight, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and Palghar accounted for 24.7 per cent of the cases. In Nandurbar accounts, the Anganwadi workers weighed 1.45 lakh children and found 33 per cent of them underweight. About 11,008 were severely underweight and 37,238 were moderately underweight.
The scenario in Gadchiroli and Palghar is not that different. In Gadchiroli, while about 25 per cent of its children were underweight, 3,986 were severely underweight among the 76,059 surveyed. Meanwhile, in Palghar 23 per cent of children were underweight among the 1.72 lakh surveyed. The district had 5,860 severely underweight and 34,373 moderately underweight children, reported The Indian Express.
Situation Not Better In Urban Areas Either
In Mumbai, 2.89 lakh children were surveyed and 15 per cent of them were found to be underweight. Of these, 39,361 were moderately and 3,896 were severely underweight. Thane and Nashik each noted 13 per cent of underweight children. Across the state, 83,909 children were found to be severely underweight. A significant 5.28 lakh were moderately underweight.
Child Development Centres
In March this year, the Women and Child Department had admitted 4,973 severely malnourished children in villages to child development centres, where extra meals are given to children to improve their nutrition. At least 4,843 children were administered energy-dense nutritious food (EDNF) to ensure that the children gain normal weight.
EDNF was given to maximum children (1,004) in Nandurbar. Meanwhile, in Gadchiroli, 685 children were enrolled in the programme. Amravati and Palghar, however, saw only 140 and 181 children, respectively, being given EDNF.