Roadmap to tackle stunting in tribal kids

The Centre has drawn up a road map to tackle under-nutrition or stunting, which contributes to one-third of under-five child deaths among tribal children.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is organising a two-day conclave in Bhubaneswar from January 15 in collaboration with the Government of Odisha and Unicef to chart a road map for Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana to improve access to food, nutrition, health and sanitation services for children in tribal pockets.

“Stunting in tribal children, like that of all other children, is influenced by a multitude of factors including household food insecurity, maternal nutrition in the first two years of life and poor access to water, health and sanitation services. The central focus of this conclave is to emphasise how various government departments can coordinate, contribute and collaborate for reducing stunting in India’s tribal children,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Challenges in the National Tribal Policy and ensuring better utilisation of tribal sub-plan budgets, will also be discussed.

As per the National Family Health Survey-3 (2005-06), India has the highest number of stunted children and most of them are from tribal communities.

“Stunting is an irreversible and chronic manifestation of under-nutrition. It adversely affects a child’s survival, health, development, learning capacity, school performance and productivity in adulthood,” the Ministry said in the statement.

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