STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Citizen’s Forum requested the Lt Governor, G C Murmu and Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh for providing nutritional food along with medicines and other supplements to ailing school children in mid-day meals. Only issuing an order to check health of school children twice a year is just a joke by Health Department. It was stated by R K Chadha, President of the Forum in a statement issued here on Wednesday. Chadha further said, “It requires a complete survey to find out the extent of malnutrition among school children of UT, particularly in rural areas. 36 Ministers visited the UT but no one discussed the problem of malnutrition, anemia, deficiency of Vitamin A and Iodine, which is very common among school children. The Central Government surveys point out that today, 94 per cent children in the age group of 6-9 are mildly, moderately or severely underweight. Adolescent girls suffer from anemia due to Iron and Folic Acid deficiency.” Chadha said that a poor school child needs 2,400 calories of energy per day whereas he gets less than 300 calories from Mid-Day meals, that too only during school days. “A poor family cannot afford to provide balance 2,000 calories everyday to their children. Central Government has emphasized the implementation of Mid-Day meals in its common minimum programme and it also mentions setting up of an appropriate mechanism for quality checks. Despite all this, Mid-Day meals constitute Rice and Dal or only rice with salt in J&K UT. Experts suggest that minimum 800 – 900 calories per day should be given in mid-day meals in schools to compensate food given at homes,” he said. Chadha further said that apart from non-compliance with nutritional norms, as set by the Central Government and adopted by other states, providing full nutritional food along with medicines, supplements, banana, eggs and full medical care to ailing school children is must and should be ordered immediately. A special doctors’ team be announced for the purpose only, for entire J&K UT, he added. The signatories to the statement included ADGP Retired S S Wazir, former PSC members Dr Ravinder Madan and K B Jandyal, Arun Gupta, Arun Sharma, Prem Gupta, R K Handa, P P Sharma, Shiv Choudhary, J.K Vaid, D.K Khajuria, Dr C L Gupta, K K Khosa, S.P Sharma, Shiiban Khaibri, S K Gupta, Lalit Mahajan, Deepak Handa, Lalit Makin, Capt Retired O P Sharma, Harbans Wahi, Jit Pal Sahni, Advocates Ashok Parihar, Anil Sethi, Anuj Dewan Raina and Ashok Misra, M S Kapoor, Veena Handa, Manjit Manocha, Pooja Malhotra, Sarita Oswal, Samir Bhasin and Sunny Dua.
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