By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
The death of 18 children from malnutrition in Nagada in Sukinda valley, Jajpur district, recently, exposed the glaring lapses in the state’s initiatives to check undernourishment deaths. Odisha, however, has been able to improve its nutrition level among children below two years of age.
Unicef is of the opinion that the state needs a Nutrition Mission to improve its performance and will be hosting a workshop on the relevance of such a mission on Wednesday. Maharashtra pioneered the Nutrition Mission to address malnutrition in 2005 and achieved phenomenal success in checking undernourishment and stunting. Taking a leaf out of Odisha’s mission, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have also launched such missions.
During a visit to Maharashtra by a media team (including this correspondent) on August 23 and 24, Vandana Krishna, director general of the mission in Maharashtra, said,
The move helped Maharashtra to have a focused approach to nutrition through its advisory and supervisory role. The mission will soon launch its third phase.
Suprabha Agarwal, director of the mission, said,
The mission only coordinates with various departments for the convergence of schemes meant for women and children. Empowerment of Anganwadis was a major achievement.