Malnourished girls in N Goa to get free rice

Posted on 2009-06-26
PANAJI: The department of woman and child development, under the nutrition programme of the central government, has started distribution of 6 kg rice, free of cost, on monthly basis, to the malnourished girls from North Goa, in the 11 to 19 age group.
In all, 9,800 such girls would be provided with rice so as to improve their health. As per the central government parameters, girls between 11 and 15 years of age are considered normal if they weigh 35 kg or more. The nutrition programme will be applicable to all the needy girls, irrespective of annual income of their families.
The director of women and child development, Mr Sanjiv Gadkar, speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ said that the central government, after a study reached the conclusion that families in Northern part of the country have wheat as their staple food, while those in the South, opt for rice.
“We will be extending this programme to South Goa, after observing response to it in North Goa,” he said, adding that around 1,212 anganwadis existing around the state, will be involved in distribution of rice to the malnourished girls.
Most of the girls, who will be benefiting under this programme, are school dropouts or those who never went to school, as the girls studying in the schools are provided with adequate diet, by way of Mid-day Meal Scheme. The department of women and child development will also introduce the Kishori Shakti Yojana, another scheme for girls in the same age group, who are school dropouts from rural areas, so as to empower them, thus enabling to take charge of their lives. The broad objectives of the scheme are to improve the nutritional, health and development status of adolescent girls, promote awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition and family care, link them to opportunities for learning life skills, and help them gain a better understanding of their social environment and take initiatives to become productive members of the society.
Mr Gadkar said that such girls would be trained to be good housewives, good mothers and good citizens of future India, with the officers of the department, medical officers from government health centres and officers of the Nutrition Board participating in the training programme.
The funds released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development under the Integrated Child Development Programme to the department were Rs 1.1 lakh during the year 2005-2006, while Rs 11.0 lakh during the subsequent year.