Concerned over the increasing number of malnourished children in the State, the Women and Child Welfare Department has asked the Food and Civil Supplies Department to sanction below the poverty line (BPL) ration cards to all families of malnourished children on priority. Announcing this at a press conference on Thursday, Women and Child Welfare Minister Umashree said it was important that all families of malnourished children were given BPL cards as poverty and lack of adequate nutrition were the main reasons for malnourishment.

“As the child has to stay at least for 15 days in the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) for treatment, the parents’ main grouse is that they will lose their daily earnings. So we are paying them Rs. 150 per day as allowance reimbursement. We are also paying them Rs. 150 a month as transportation costs to reach the hospital for treatment. But that is not enough and we have decided to increase it,” she said.

The Minister said Belgaum had 4,896 severely malnourished children, the highest in the State. This was followed by Raichur with 4,596 severely malnourished children. Hassan had just 301 severely malnourished children, the lowest in the State.

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