Monday, May 13, 2013

CAG finds holes in nutrition scheme for kids

Mumbai: Even children’s nutrition has been engulfed by the web of corruption. An audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has revealed that malnourished children were being provided supplementary nutrition that has lesser calorific valuethan prescribed norms.

The same audit found similar discrepancies in the dietary intake provided under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) scheme to pregnant and lactating women. “Under supplementary nutrition programme (ICDS), there were serious gaps between recommended dietary allowance and actual dietary intake of the beneficiaries,” the CAG observed.

The commissioner, women and child development department, admitted to the deficiencies and also indicated that the government would take corrective measures.

It also came down hard on the state for deficiency in testing of food samples supplied under the supplementary nutrition programme. The Centre’s norms stipulate that each child between 6 months and 3 years is provided food supplements containing energy value of 500 K cal/day and12-15 gm of protein/ day in the form of ‘take home ration’. In the case of malnourished children, the supplements must contain an energy value of 800Kcal/day.

The CAG audit, however, found several instances where the calorific value of supplements provided was atleast20K cal/day lower than the prescribed norms. While norms require self-help groups supplying food to anganwadis under ICDS to adopt the recipe decided by the government, the CAG has cited instances where this was not being followed.

It said the officials did not carry out testing of food samples as required in several cases. The CAG also pointed out instances where the supplementary nutrition was not supplied for a significant period.

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