A series of programmes will spread the message about nutrition and health among adolescent boys and girls of government schools as part of the National Nutrition Week.
The campaign will simultaneously start in all 24 districts of the state.
The state HRD department, which runs Anaemia Control Programme for adolescent students, informed this to district education officers (DEOs) and officials of anaemia control units functioning in each district on Thursday.
The students — aged between 10 and 19 years and studying in classes VI to XII — are supposed to be engaged in a number of activities related to nutrition. These include inter-school debate and painting competition, seminar on nutrition, prabhat pheris, rallies and plantation of green vegetables with high nutritional value
The teachers have to chip in with special classes on nutrition on all seven days. They will also help students exhibit leafy green vegetables with high nutrient content during exhibitions.
According to state in-charge of Anaemia Control Programme Ashok Singh, there are 51 lakh adolescent children in the state. Of them, 31 lakh are adolescent girls (both out-of-school and school-going) and the rest are adolescent boys (only school-going).
“Earlier, we used to give priority to the health of adolescent girls. But from this year, we are also targeting adolescent boys. Under our programme titled Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplement, the adolescent boys enrolled in government schools across the state will get Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets once a week,” Singh said.
Hitherto, the tablets were being only given to adolescent girls (both school-going and out of school).
Citing reasons behind inclusion of the boys, Singh said at the national level, 30 per cent of adolescent boys have been found to be anaemic.
IFA tablets are also provided to out-of-school adolescent girls from anganvadi centres. “However, we don’t have the figures of out-of-school adolescent boys. Hence, we are targeting only those going to school,” Singh clarified.