Jammu: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the status of malnourishment and the need for community kitchens in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Finance, Health & Medical Education, School Education, Labour & Employment, Social Welfare, and Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs participated in the meeting.
It was informed that the Social Welfare Department has distributed child growth monitoring devices to all Anganwadi Workers and Supervisors and the Department is continuously monitoring the growth parameters to identify the cases of stunting, malnourishment, and underweight requiring urgent intervention.
The Chief Secretary directed the Department to fully switch over to fortified food which will be distributed free of cost to all the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Centres and the Mid Day Meal scheme.
The Department was further asked to organize a month-long campaign for ‘Kuposhan mukt J&K’ to promote a healthy and balanced diet and healthy habits in collaboration with the local government bodies. The campaign will be aimed at identifying the cases of malnourishment to be subsequently taken up in an outcome-based targeted manner.
Dr. Mehta directed the establishment of a food grid at the concerned Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies to identify and monitor the cases of malnourishment and recommend the opening of community kitchens under their jurisdictions through the concerned Deputy Commissioner.
The Chief Secretary directed the district administrations that any identified case of malnourishment or starvation must be immediately brought to the notice of the concerned Tehsil Supplies Officer for immediate assistance.
The Department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs was asked to focus on the food supply under National Food Security Act, Mid-Day Meal, and Integrated Child Development Scheme and accordingly topup the existing food entitlements to check malnourishment in the targeted population. Besides, the Department was also directed to cover the left out beneficiaries under the relevant schemes.
Similarly, Labour & Employment Department was asked to assess the food requirement of the floating worker population during the transit period, besides working out the modalities of establishing emergency community kitchens – one each in Jammu and Srinagar, during crisis situations and disasters.