Maharashtra Governor seeks remedial steps against malnutrition

Mumbai, Sep 14 (IANS) Taking cognisance of media reports on malnutrition in Palghar in Maharashtra, Governor C.V. Rao on Wednesday told the state government to take urgent remedial steps, officials said.

Addressing a meeting of ministers and senior officials at the Raj Bhavan here, Rao asked them to “reach out to each and every single child suffering from malnutrition”.

The meeting was called specially to discuss the grim situation in Mokhada sub-district, barely 90 km north of Mumbai.

The Governor called for a “coordinated response from various departments and converge of different schemes to tackle malnutrition effectively” in Mokhada, Jawhar and other areas of the predominantly tribal district that borders Gujarat.

Rao asked the ministers to prepare a comprehensive plan, including long- and short-term steps, to tackle the spectre of malnutrition not only in Palghar but also in the rest of the state.

Present on the occasion were Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde, Tribal Welfare Minister Vishnu Savara and Minister for Public Health Deepak Sawant.

Sawant said the issue of malnutrition in Mokhada was a very complex one, involving extraneous factors like discontinuation of central scheme of village and child development centres, large-scale migration of tribals for employment, large number of medical posts lying vacant and convergence of various departments.

In view of these, Sawant said, he had directed all private hospitals in the region to send their teams of doctors and paediatricians to Mokhada.

Minister Munde informed the governor that a meeting of all ministers, secretaries, collectors and CEOs concerned of tribal districts in Maharashtra will be convened on September 20.

The three ministers – Munde, Savara and Sawant – will make a joint visit to the affected district (Palghar) on September 21.

She assured that a comprehensive plan would be prepared to tackle malnutrition. After approval from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, it would be submitted to the Governor.

Officials at the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary of Women and Child Welfare Sanjay Kumar and Commissioner for Women and Child Welfare Vinita V. Singhal, Public Health Principal Secretary V.S. Singh, Tribal Development Secretary Rajgopal Devra, National Health Mission Director and Family Welfare Commissioner Pradeep Vyasa.

–IANS

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