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NEIST to combat malnutrition

Bokajan (Tezpur), May 14: The CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, today launched its 12th Five-year Plan project in Sonitpur with an eye to combat malnutrition in women and children in the district.

The project was launched at Bokajan near Sonabil tea estate, about 15km from Tezpur town. The project will be implemented jointly with the Institute of Integrated Resources Management, a Tezpur-based NGO.

Sonitpur is among the four districts of Assam, including Dibrugarh, Darrang and Chirang where 36 per cent children between two and five years were found underwei-ght, while another 9.2 per cent were severely underweight, according to WHO standards.

“Most adolescent girls and women in the tea garden areas of the district are anaemic because of poor diet. We need to pay a lot of attention to the basic healthcare and wellbeing of children,” S. P. Saikia, nodal scientist of the project, told The Telegraph here.

P.R. Bhattacharyya, head of the medicinal, aromatic and economic plants division of the institute, said edible mushroom is rich in protein, vitamin and folic acid.D. Ramaiah, director of CSIR-NEIST, said in the first phase they would conduct a survey with the help of the IIRM to assess the nutritional situation among targeted population.