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A different menu

Published : Apr 23, 2010 00:00 IST



Tripura presents a sharp contrast to the dismal situation in States like Assam, the State Plan Adviser said. Supplementary nutrition in the form of khichri is being provided regularly and without a break in the tiny north-eastern State. Last year SNP was provided for 295 days (against the norm of 300 days a year), The State Plan Advisers report said.

Field visits by the State Plan Adviser showed that as soon as children came to anganwadi centres in Tripura, they got two biscuits each. Severely malnourished children got one more when they left. In between they were served khichri, the report said.

All beneficiaries, from six-month-olds to lactating mothers, get khichri. Five pairs of chappals have been provided to each anganwadi centre from funds made available by the State government to teach the children to use them while going to the toilet. Basic hygiene and sanitation are given prime importance. About the midday meal scheme in Tripura, the Planning Commission review reveals that the scheme has been very well received in the State and is greatly appreciated by students, teachers and the administration.

The weekly menu is uniform throughout the State: khichri on two days a week; egg curry and rice on two days; and rice, dal and mixed vegetables, including soya chunks, on the remaining two days. The Tripura government is contributing 50 paisa for every child every day towards the cooking costs. The minimum contribution required by Government of India norms is 20 paisa.

In Mizoram, the Planning Commission has found that the community participation in the implementation of the ICDS is very good. Extensive awareness campaigns on Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programmes have helped better implementation, and mothers take an interest in helping the anganwadi centres run well. A well-coordinated system of distribution of supplementary foods to anganwadi centres also exists in Mizoram, which has helped to meet the norm of a minimum of 300 feeding days.

Sushanta Talukdar

(This story was published in the print edition of Frontline magazine dated Apr 23, 2010.)



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