Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government has informed the Legislative Assembly that more than 1.25 lakh children in the state were malnourished and it was taking various steps to improve the situation, PTI reported.
Responding to a set of questions raised by Congress MLAs during Question Hour, Women and Child Development Minister Bhanuben Babariya informed that out of the total 1,25,707 malnourished children in the state, 1,01,586 were ‘underweight’, while 24,121 fell in the category of ‘severely underweight’.
Tribal-dominated district of Narmada accounted for the highest number of malnourished children (12,492), followed by Vadodara (11,322), Anand (9,615), Sabarkantha (7,270), Surat (6,967) and Bharuch (5,863), said Babariya in her written replies.
Children in the age group of 3 to 6 years are given hot breakfast and lunch at Anganwadis (child care centres). In addition, fruits are given to children twice a week, said Babariya, as per PTI.
For children in the age group of six months to three years, the department provides seven packets of ‘Bal Shakti’ take-home ration each weighing 500 grams, 10 packets to ‘severely underweight’ kids of 3 to 6 years, and four food packets to ‘underweight’ children, the news agency reported quoting the minister as saying.