About 42.5 per cent children in India underweight: Minister

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) About 42.5 per cent children under the age of five years in the country are underweight and the highest number has been registered in Madhya Pradesh, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

In a written reply to a question on children suffering from malnutrition, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said as per National Family Health Survey (2005-06) in MP 60 per children under the age of five are under weight followed by Jharkhand at 56.5 per cent and Bihar at 55.9 per cent.

To another question on 11 states, which have implemented a World Bank supported programme to improve nutrition among children, she said only Kerala had met the target of 25 per cent decline in malnutrition.

''In Rajasthan, 98 per cent of the intended target was achieved.

As regards Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Uttaranchal there was no provision for Baseline or Endline Survey so their position was not known,'' she added.

The Minister further said steps have been taken under the Integrate Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, including expansion of ICDS scheme in two phases during 2005-06 and 2006-07 and doubling of financial norms for supplementary nutrition and sharing of 50 per cent cost of supplementary nutrition with the states.

Ms Chowdhary later added constant emphasis is being given on regular supply of supplementary as per schematic norms, effective convergence of health nutrition, education and safe drinking water services under various programmes.


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