‘Shaktiman project’ focused on tribals will cover 1,000 villages
KESLA (MADHYA PRADESH): Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has affirmed his Government’s commitment to ensuring that not a single child remains malnourished in the State.
This was emphasised by the Chief Minister while launching the Shaktiman Project in the heavily forested Kesala block of Hoshangabad district over the weekend. The new initiative is aimed at addressing the critical issue of malnourishment in the predominantly tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh.
The project would initially cover 1,000 villages in 38 development blocks of 19 districts.
Addressing a huge gathering of villagers, even as the audience braved a cloudburst and remained seated drenched in rain, the Chief Minister said effective measures had been taken to end discrimination against the girl child. He called for greater participation by women in the decision-making process. The State Government had initiated a number of schemes and programmes to bring women on a firmer footing, he said, dwelling at length on various initiatives taken by the Government for women’s empowerment.
The Chief Minister said Madhya Pradesh was ranking low on the malnourishment front but focused efforts in the recent past had started showing positive results. He said 0.4 per cent children are severely malnourished in the State. The figure earlier stood at 5 per cent, he added.
Women and Child Development Minister Kusum Mehdale said that under the Shaktiman Project, the first of its kind in the country, the daily expenditure per head for providing nutritious diet to children would be Rs. 6 against the normal Rs.2 being spent by anganwadisHamid El Bashir, State Representative at the UNICEF Office for Madhya Pradesh, said UNICEF salutes all those involved in tackling the problem of malnutrition. Stressing the need for focused intervention in the least developed parts of the State, particularly the tribal areas, Dr. Bashir said that initially 1,000 villages were being targeted but the project should expand to all areas.
TV star Mukesh Khanna, who played the popular role of Shaktiman in a serial by the same name said children have great potential and they should be able to use it to the fullest .