The dismal picture of child malnutrition continues to haunt Jammu and Kashmir which is no better that the national average. The centrally-sponsored Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has failed to improve nutritional status of the children in the state. This has affected the pre-schooling which has become a casualty, because many parents send their children to Anganwadi Centers mainly for supplementary nutrition. The scheme was not in a position to help majority of the women to receive ante-natal care services and health education, as only a limited number of women were informed by Anganwadi workers about ante-natal care services, child immunization, management of diahorrea and methods of family planning. Government failure to create an effective mechanism for keeping a check on the officials involved in the implementation of the scheme. Owing to this, the scheme lost track and did not benefit people of Jammu and Kashmir on the expected lines. ICDS programme was not in a position to achieve its objectives to the desired level. Not only the coverage of the services was low, but the scheme was not in a position to provide Supplementary Nutrition (SN) to beneficiaries throughout the year. The lack of coordination between various departments engaged in implementation of the scheme viz., Health, Rural Development, Education and Social Welfare is another reason why the scheme has failed to take off on the expected lines. Another important reason for tardy implementation of ICDS was non-availability of adequate supervisory staff. Being stunned means that the affected children are not fulfilling their potential either in childhood or as adults and their brain and immune systems are compromised, often for their entire life, the reports say. However, there has been an increase in the decline rate of stunting at the national level.”Though India’s national rate of stunting decline has increased from 1.7 per cent in 2005-06, to now 2.6 per cent, it is not fast enough to global goals on nutrition. A global report assessing India’s performance vis-a-vis 193 countries concluded that India was on track to meet only two of the eight global targets on nutrition though it had significantly improved its nutrition performance.
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