Mumbai

A new life for malnourished children

Safe haven: The new refugee centre built for malnourished children at Palghar.

Safe haven: The new refugee centre built for malnourished children at Palghar.  

Dieticians, paediatricians to ensure they get a balanced diet at all times

Sanjeevan Bal Chavni, a first of its kind refugee centre for malnourished children will open in Jawhar taluka of Palghar district on July 26.

An initiative by the Vithumauli Charitable trust and Samarth trust, in collaboration with the State government, the centre will be inaugurated by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Spread across an area of 10,000 sq.m., it will have the capacity to accommodate 100 children and aims at curbing malnutrition. It will also provide nursing courses to tribal girls.

Vivek Pandit, former MLA and founder of Shramajeevi Sanghatna, an NGO that workers for tribal rights, said the number of deaths due to malnutrition shot up drastically after the temporary closure of the Village Child Development Centres in the State.

Over 600 deaths

“Over 600 children succumbed to malnutrition in 2016. To help the situation, Shramajeevi Sanghatna started a temporary camp that provided nutritious food to malnourished children. The idea to have a permanent refuge centre came after the temporary camp was successful in saving lives of 735 children,” he said.

Speaking of the State government’s role in its functioning, Mr. Pandit said anganwadi workers will be responsible for getting malnourished children from the villages to the centre.

“A guardian or parent of the child will be allowed to accompany them. Doctors from government hospitals will attend to the patients regularly. Some dietitians and paediatricians have volunteered to work for the centre. They will make sure that a well-balanced diet is given to the children at all times,” he said.

Mr. Pandit said that Palghar MP Rajendra Gavit has sanctioned ₹50 lakhs from the MP Local Area Development Fund for the project. “The Mira-Bhayandar Safai Karmachari Union gave a donation of ₹15 lakh. Several other donations flowed in with the help of Mr. Fadnavis and the refugee centre came to life,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:36:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/a-new-life-for-malnourished-children/article28665059.ece

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