Jorhat, June 30: The Umang (Urgent Management and Action for Nutritional Growth) project launched at 13 Anganwadi centres here in February for three months, has been extended to another three months for achieving 100 per cent nourishment levels among a group of 352 children.
The project is an initiative of the Jorhat branch of World Vision, India.
Jorhat branch head Momo R. Khartu said the project needed to be extended as only 50 per cent of the severely and moderately malnourished children had attained normal nourishment levels after being given an extra feed by the World Vision over and above the one given by Anganwadi centres.
Khartu said in the first step, a door-to-door survey was conducted in June 2012 with the permission of the integrated child development services department and village development committees with the aim to know the malnutrition status of the community. “As the age group of children (six months to six years) is very critical for their physical and mental development, it is essential to intervene before it is too late,” Khartu said.
The survey conducted by the World Vision on children aged between six months and six years in 17 localities under 13 Anganwadi centres found that out of the 352 children surveyed, 50 were found to be severely malnourished, 102 moderately malnourished, 134 mildly malnourished and 64 normal.
“After giving them extra feed which included fish and eggs for three days a week, a portion of fruits in addition to khichdi, it was found that many of the severely or moderately malnourished children passed on to the mildly malnourished group or to the normal level. We will continue with the programme till July end so that 90 to 100 per cent achieve the normal level,” he said.
The parameter for grading the children depended on weight and a check-up by a child specialist at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.
Among the children who were brought under the programme was one-and-half-year old Munu in a severely malnourished condition. The nutritious food soon put him out of this group.
“My son was very weak. But after Umang, he is better. Munu is now undergoing therapy. The community people also care for my son and call him by Umnath after the programme,” Durgamuni Bhuyan, Munu’s mother, said.
“Besides the food, our members also give the mothers lessons on how to cook a nutritious meal, cleanliness and personal hygiene. We will leave after the project is over and they will have to continue to cook and give food to their children so that they remain healthy,” Khartu said.