KARNATAKA

Pregnant women and lactating mothers to get midday meals

In an attempt to improve maternal health, which will have a direct impact on the nutrition on the child, the State government has decided to provide midday meals for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Women and Child Development Minister Umashree on Sunday said the project will kick-start in four taluks in the State — Madhugiri, Jamakhandi, Manvi and H.D. Kote — on pilot basis from December 15. A total of 32,000 women will be covered under it. After the pilot phase is carried out for three months, the government is likely to extend the scheme to all districts, the Minister said. Women will have to come to the anganwadis for the midday meals, which will include egg and milk. Those who do not consume eggs will be given two glasses of milk.

S. Varalakshmi, State president of the Anganwadi Noukarara Sangha, applauded the government’s move. “In several parts of the State, very young girls who are malnourished, give birth to infants who are also malnourished. Although the government provides rice, wheat, jaggery and green gram to these women under the Integrated Child Development Services, many women, particularly those from lower economic backgrounds, do not consume it themselves. They use the ingredients to cook for their family,” she said.

However, the government has to work out the infrastructure and logistics before launching the programme, she added.

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