ST, SC population worst hit by menace.
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha is battling serious malnutrition, especially in rural areas.
As per the findings of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4, the total number of under-five children in Odisha suffering from severe wasting has increased from 5.2 per cent to 6.4 per cent in the last 10 years.
In principle, the people belonging to the Scheduled Tribe (23 per cent) and Scheduled Caste (17 per cent) are the worst victims to perpetual poverty and marginalisation.
According to Dr Chandrakant Pandav, member of National Council on India Nutrition Challenges and Poshan Abhiyan (Overall Nutrition), Government of India in 2017 released the National Nutrition Strategy as a response to the growing malnutrition situation in certain states.
Besides, there has been 25 per cent increase in the budget outlay from `29,165 crore in 2019-20 to `35,600 crore in 2020-21 for nutrition related programmes and proposed taskforce for recommending the age of girl entering motherhood.
“Odisha must utilise the allocated funds rightly because this kind of investment in nutrition will help tackle severe acute malnourishment in the state. This will also address various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the state,” suggests Dr Pandav.
The Sustainable Development Goals, among others, include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, develop a global partnership for development.
Since the launch of Poshan Abhiyan in 2019, 6 lakh anganwadi workers equipped with smartphones have uploaded the nutrition status of 10 crore households in India, thereby helping create radical yet sustainable transformation.