It may issue directions to re-examine all the identified 68,000 malnourished children

The committee appointed by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka to submit an action plan recommending effective ways to overcome malnourishment among children in the State is likely to issue directions to re-examine the health status of 68,000 malnourished children aged less than six, and provide individual health status reports on malnourished children.

Chairman of the nine-member committee and judge of the High Court N.K. Patil told presspersons here on Thursday that the committee was not satisfied with the health assessment made by the Health Department officials of malnourished children and the recommendations made for feeding milk and egg to improve their health conditions. “How can there be only one solution of providing egg and milk to overcome the problem of malnourishment?” he asked.

Mr. Patil said that while some children may require milk and egg to overcome malnourishment, many others may require other forms of nourishments. “There cannot be only one solution for all illness, particularly malnourishment among children. The reason for malnourishment in each child should be assessed and attended to,” he said.

“We will ask the government to re-examine the health status of all the 68,000 identified malnourished children with the help of child specialists and experts and submit individual medical certificates of malnourished children with recommendations to overcome this malady,” he said.

Mr. Patil said that the committee would ask nutrition experts to study all health status reports of children and come out with the nature of health supplements that are to be given to them to overcome malnourishment.

Expressing doubts over the claims of the government that it was supplying milk and egg to malnourished children through anganwadis, Mr. Patil said that “milk and egg were not supplied in at least four anganwadis that I visited in Bidar district. The food supplied in these anganwadis will not help improve the children's health.”

The committee would submit an interim report to the Chief Justice before June 15 suggesting a few basic recommendations for overcoming malnourishment among children.

One of the recommendations would be to improve infrastructure in government hospitals to house a rehabilitation centre for malnourished children with all facilities, he said.