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Government accords high Priority to Combating Malnutrition

The Government of India has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition and is implementing several schemes/programmes of different Ministries/Departments through State Governments/UT Administrations. 

These include the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Mid Day Meal Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) namely SABLA, Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY) as direct targeted interventions. 

Besides, indirect multi-sectoral interventions include Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Horticulture Mission, National Food Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Total Sanitation Campaign, and National Rural Drinking Water Programme. 

The issue of malnutrition is observed to be complex, multi-dimensional, and inter-generational in nature and is manifestation of several underlying factors and causes. All these schemes have the potential to address one or other aspect of nutrition. Several of the existing schemes/programmes have been expanded / universalized just before or during the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

As per the National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3), 2005-06, 42.5% children under 5 years are underweight and 69.5 % are anemic. Moreover, 35.6% of women in the age group of 15-49 years suffer from chronic energy deficiency (CED) (measured as low body mass index) and 55.3% are anemic.



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