The Hunger and Malnutrition (HUNGaMA) report by the Naandi Foundation, released here by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, says that giving colostrum to the newborn and exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months of a child's life are not commonly practised.

“About 51 per cent of the mothers did not give colostrum to the newborn soon after birth and 58 per cent mothers fed water to their infants before six months,” notes the survey.

It emphasises need to provide better services through anganwadi centres. While a total of 96 per cent of villages had their own anganwadi centres, only 61 per cent operate in pucca buildings.

“The anganwadi services accessed by the largest proportion of mothers [86 per cent] is immunisation; 61 per cent of anganwadi centres had dried rations available and 50 per cent provided food on the day of survey; only 19 per cent of mothers reported that the anganwadi centre provides nutrition counselling to parents,” it says.

Dr. Singh said the country had not succeeded in reducing malnutrition levels fast enough. “Though the Integrated Child Development Scheme continues to be our most important tool to fight malnutrition, we can no longer rely solely on it.”

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