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End Malnutrition in Karnataka - Provide Eggs and Bananas in school midday meals

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Child malnutrition rates in India are among the highest in the world. With 15 per cent of the country’s population ‘undernourished’, India has been ranked 97 out of 118 countries on the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) and way behind even South Asian countries like Nepal (72th), Sri Lanka (84th) and Bangladesh (90th).

According to Rapid Survey Conducted by Women and Child Welfare Ministry, GOI in 2013-14,  percentage of Wasted children found between 0-59 months in Karnataka are; SC-24.0%, ST-19.6% OBC-16.4% and Others-14.5%.

 According to National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16);    

  • 35.2% of our children under the age of five years are underweight (low weight for age) 
  • 36.2% of our children are stunted (low height for age – chronically malnourished).  
  • 26.1% of our children are wasted (low weight for height – acutely malnourished)

One of the observations made in 8th joint review mission report of midday meal scheme – Karnataka, 2015  says that “the nutritional status of a majority of the students of both sexes in all the schools visited was very poor, with high incidence of stunting and underweight for the age of the children”.  It was also noted that  the prevalence of B-complex and vitamin A deficiencies were also high among children besides high prevalence of stunting, thinness and anemia.

Egg, a panacea to combat malnutrition - Eggs are an important, high quality and inexpensive source of protein, minerals and nutrients. An egg contains the perfect combination of protein, 12 vitamins and 12 minerals. Eggs help to regulate the brain, nervous and cardiovascular system.

As per the recent newspaper reports (Vijaya Karnataka, 5th November 2016), providing eggs to children below 6 years has found at least 50% reduction in the malnourishment of children in the state. We urge the government to extend the provision of eggs in midday meal also.

 Nutrients and Calories in bananas are a smart, convenient addition to a healthy lifestyle. With 110 nutrient-dense calories per serving (126 grams, or one medium-sized banana) it is deliciously easy to add Chiquita bananas to your family's routine. 

Progress in Karnataka so far..

1. After pressure from different activists/ngos/progressive thinkers, Karnataka government had ordered (Order No: ED/66/MMS/2006, Bangalore, 12/12/2006) to provide one egg per week and banana to those who don’t eat egg but the order is still not implemented.

2.  Joint director, Department of Public Instruction (Education), has recommended to GoK to provide one egg per day as part of midday meal to tackle malnutrition in the letter M2/A.D/Egg/27/2013-14 dated 23/11/2015 and had asked government to consider pros and cons for the same.

3. The Right to Food Campaign have demanded egg/banana  and written to Chief Minister-GOK, Ministry of Primary and Secondary education, Ministry of Food and Public distribution, Ministry of health and family welfare, Ministry of women and child welfare and principal secretary (GoK). A complaint has been lodged with Grievance Cell.

4. Commissioner, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights after reviewing the petition given by Right to Food Campaign, has written to Principal Secretary, Department of Primary and Secondary education, on 04/10/2016 recommending one egg/banana per day along with midday meal.

In addition to this petition, children across many panchayats of Karnataka  will also demand for an egg/banana in midday meal as part of  Children Grama Sabha scheduled in November 2016.

We request you to support the petition by signing and help end malnutrition in Karnataka. Your support to the petition will be helpful to fight malnutrition among Children in Karnataka.

Thank you,

Right to Food Campaign-Karnataka

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