Ranchi, Sept. 1: Social welfare, women and child development minister Annapurna Devi today admitted that everything was not fine with the “attitude” of officials involved in the implementation of health and welfare schemes.
She added, “We need to revisit the way schemes are being implemented and find out the gaps. We have to stress on improving the delivery system and create demands for such schemes, while making people aware of these benefits.”
The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration of National Nutrition Week at Sri Krishna Institute of Public Administration (SKIPA), Ranchi.
Principal secretary of the health, medical education and family welfare department, K. Vidyasagar said it was a matter of shame that three departments — health, social welfare and drinking water & sanitation — had been failing to curb malnutrition in the state.
“The three departments put together, we have a huge manpower, which works for a common cause. If every individual works with commitment, we can easily overcome the existing challenges. Malnutrition is a big problem for us but we do not have correct official figures to set a time-bound target to eradicate the menace,” said Vidyasagar.
“Moreover, I do not understand what kind of work is done here. The figures that we get to hear at programmes and workshops never show any sign of decline. We need to give a serious thought to it and work seriously to make the week meaningful,” Vidyasagar added.
Later, the social welfare minister, too, admitted that there was something wrong with the data available with the state government.
Sources claimed over 3 lakh employees associated with the three departments work to maintain records, but in vain.
On the occasion, Annapurna flagged off a Poshan Rath (nutrition chariot) that would visit remote villages across the state to spread messages on the value of nutrition.
A councillor will travel in the rath and hold counselling sessions to educate villagers wherever it stops.
The health department also identified two severe acute malnutrition children from Mandar block for special treatment through Malnutrition Treatment Centre. The minister gave them medicine.
Among others who were present were Mridula Sinha, principal secretary, social, women and family welfare, and Job Zachariah, Unicef, Jharkhand.