A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been sanctioned additionally for providing supplementary nutrition to around 23.4 lakh beneficiaries under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
Originally, in the 2012-2013 budget, the allocation was Rs. 190 crore. As this was not found sufficient, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa approved the additional allocation, according to an official release issued on Thursday.
The supplementary nutrition in the form of weaning food provides a minimum of 8.50 gram protein and 350 calories of energy. The composition of weaning food includes wheat/maize/bajra, malted ‘ragi,’ powdered jaggery, Bengal gram and vitamin premix.
The quantum of food varies from one group of beneficiaries to another. Severely malnourished children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years get 190 gram of food per day compared to 130 gram provided to normal children in the same age group. Pregnant women and lactating mothers get 160 gram.
Adolescent girls, who also get weaning food of 130 gm, are covered under the SABLA programme (Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls), which is being implemented in nine districts – Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram, Tiruvannamalai ,Madurai, Salem, Kanyakumari and Tiruchi.