India's development not possible with undernourished children: Odisha minister

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: Odisha Minister of Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Lal Bihari Himirika on Thursday said progress will remain incomplete without taking the needs and aspirations of the tribal population into account and development is not possible with children being under nourished. (Read:Lok Sabha Elections 2014: Do any of the parties care about malnutrition in children?)

'Addressing under nutrition of children of the Schedule Tribes requires continuous efforts by many Ministries and Departments working together to deliver results,' Himirika said, while inaugurating a two-day national conclave drawing attention to chronic under nutrition of tribal children. The concave was jointly organized by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, UNICEF and Government of Odisha. Meanwhile, UNICEF Representative Louis Georges Arsenault emphasized the need to focus on the stubbornly high stunting rates among tribal children. 'This meeting today represents an important moment where we can collectively commit to ensure tribal children have equal chances to develop and grow to their full potential. This conclave is an indication of our resolve to make change happen,' he said. (Read: Malnutrition affects children s good gut bacteria: Study)

The conclave will chart a road map for Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana for improving access to food, nutrition, health and sanitation services for children in tribal pockets and solidify all stakeholders' commitment toward nourishing India's tribal children. The focus at the conclave will be to collectively identify gaps and good practices and prepare a roadmap for improving access of tribal children to food, nutrition, health and sanitation that would improve their nutritional status. Around 150 delegates comprising experts, government officials, practitioners and field workers from various states would be attending the conclave. (Read: India lags behind targets set for reducing malnutrition and infant deaths)

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Source: ANI

Photo source: Getty images

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