Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that for formation of Healthy and Prosperous Chhattisgarh, the need was to free upcoming generation from malnutrition, and nourish them well.
“Today, malnutrition is a bigger problem for the state than Naxalism. Malnutrition eradication is the first priority of the state government,” he said.
He added that if each social welfare organization decides to adopt one village each, then the face of villages in the state would transform drastically. Active participation of all the sections of society is necessary for malnutrition eradication.
Chief Minister was addressing the ‘Suposhit Chhattisgarh Ki Or’ programme jointly organized by UNICEF and a private news channel.
On the occasion, Chief Minister felicitated the organizations and individuals for their contribution in malnutrition eradication. The programme was attended by Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar, Women and Child Development Department Minister Anila Bhendiya and many prominent citizens.
Chief Minister said that for eradication of malnutrition in the state, the campaign has been started from Bastar region as a pilot project. On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this campaign would be launched state-wide. He said that today Chhattisgarh has 37.6% children suffering from malnutrition and 41.5 % women suffering from anemia and malnutrition. Nourishment does not merely refer to eating. Daily diet should contain macro and micro nutrients in essential quantities, as it is important for physical and mental growth. Supplementary food is not sufficient for eradication of malnutrition. Awareness regarding importance of nutrition is necessary.
Chief Minister told that initially when Collector had called a meeting, sarpanchs had refused to provide panchayat building for the programme. But the campaign was started anyway in a tent. Women of self-help groups cooked meal, and children-women suffering from malnutrition were invited. Now this campaign is going on in remote areas of the state with full enthusiasm. Naxalites opposed the campaign, but people of the village acknowledged the benefits of the campaign and refused to let shut it down.
Baghel said that Mukhyamantri Haat-Bazaar Clinic Yojana started in remote, far-flung areas has started to yield positive results. OPD in Haat-Bazaars of Bastar is many times more than OPD in any hospital. Under this scheme, visitors of haat-bazaar get to avail free health checkup facility, medicine and other medical facilities.