Thiruvananthapuram

No malnutrition issues in Attappady: Minister

There are currently no malnutrition issues amongst the tribal population in Attappady as the Scheduled Tribes Department and the Health Department have taken several interventions to improve the nutritional status of women and children in the region, Minister for SC/ST Welfare A. K. Balan has said.

In reply to questions by K. V. Vijayadas and other in the Assembly on Wednesdays, he said that the infant deaths in Attappady had been on the rise in the previous years because of nutrition issues, following which the government had introduced the Janani Janma Raksha (JJR) scheme, under which all tribal mothers are given Rs.1,000 every month from the third month of gestation till the child is one-year-old.

Though the scheme had run into some trouble between 2013 and 2015 following financial irregularities, it was now being directly overseen by the SC Directorate, Mr. Balan said.

There had been an arrears of Rs. 4.57 crore to be paid to tribals under JJR scheme when the LDF government took over. The government has handed over Rs. 5 crore now for clearing the dues and for running the scheme.

Mr. Balan said that all 192 ‘oorukal’ or tribal villages in Attappady will soon have community kitchens. At present, 93 were functional, where nutritious food was being prepared and given to the tribal mothers and children. A sum of Rs. 3.42 crore had been handed to Kudumbasree for running the kitchens. This apart, several supplementary nutrition programmes for women and adolescents were also currently going on in the area.

Infant deaths

The Minister said that though there were four infant deaths in the area in the past three months, these were due to other congenital problems and not due to nutrition issues. He said that he was confident that the infant mortality rate in Attappady would be brought down to less than the State average. The Health Department was conducting regular health screening in schools to identify anaemia in children in Attappady.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 1:24:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/No-malnutrition-issues-in-Attappady-Minister/article16077699.ece

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