The Gujarat government on Monday admitted here that more than 6.5 lakh children suffer from malnutrition across the state. During question hour in the Gujarat Assembly, Congress Tejashree Patel asked the BJP-led state governmentto provide details about malnourished children registered in the state and what steps are being taken to improve the situation.
In her written reply to the House, Gujarat Minister for Women and Child Welfare Vasuben Trivedi admitted that 6,58,161 children in the state have been identified as malnourished, since their weight-to-age ratio is below average.
Vadodara district has the highest number of such malnourished children (65,047), followed by Surat (54,595), Panchmahals (46,594), Ahmedabad (46,360) and Banaskantha(44,995). In her reply, Trivedi claimed that the number of malnourished children have decreased over the years.
In 2011-12, there were 12,60,096 malnourished children, and the number came down to 11,21,215 in 2012-13, after which it reached 7,35,803 in 2013-14. As of December, 2014, the number of malnourished children stands at 6,58,161, she said.
Trivedi stated that the state government has taken various measures to eradicate malnutrition among children and that include providing take-home rations, giving fruits, milk as well as breakfast to anganwadi children, besides giving supplementary food to malnourished children.