Drought and child malnutrition are interlinked, and in India, regions facing the menace of drought and famine have always reported rise in underweight and malnourished children. Recently it has been reported that Nanded and Hingoli in the Marathwada region in Maharastra, have faced the grunt of severe drought between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is a national welfare scheme that provides additional food to children below six years under the ‘Supplementary Nutrition Programme’ (SNP) with an aim to combat malnutrition. According to September 2016 report of ICDS as many as 1, 01,378 children below the age of six have been detected as severely underweight in the state of Maharashtra. Districts in the deprived Vidarbha region such as Buldhana Chandrapur, Jalgaon in north Maharashtra have seen rise in severely underweight children. The Palghar district recorded 9,137 severely underweight children in September as compared to 6,694 cases in August 2016. Mumbai which recorded 2,886 cases in August has 3,025 cases in September.
A desalination project has recently been proposed. The desalination plant will provide water to the parched region in Maharashtra. Marathwada region is eligible for desalination project under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. Maharashtra government should take up the desalination plant project along with pipeline transmission to curb the menace of drought in the deprived Marwathada Region of Maharashtra.
- http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/over-1-lakh-children-below-6- severely-underweight-in-maharashtra-icds-report-4372344/
-Dr. Shubhamoy Mukherjee