ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tamil Nadu: ICDS with a Difference

Tamil Nadu's noon meal programme has evolved via the successful intervention of twin pressures - political will that ensured budgetary provision for the programme and the widespread demand for it from below. Several nutrition-oriented programmes have now expanded to cover groups such as pregnant and nursing mothers, old age pensioners, widows and the destitute. The need is now to create a "nutrition literate" populace, i e, foster an awareness of non-food factors that in several ways influence behaviours and attitudes related to food.

Chhattisgarh: Grassroot Mobilisation for Children's Nutrition Rights

As a part of the right to food campaign initiated in Chhattisgarh to improve children's access to nutrition especially in the tribal dominated areas, this article analyses the exemplary work of the Mitanin programme, a statewide community health volunteer programme in Koriya district.

Decentralised Childcare Services

The SEWA experience demonstrates that adequate childcare encourages school-going among children and helps tackle social barriers such as caste. Many women can also find employment as crèche teachers and this helps them forge bonds with other women. It serves as an entry point for further organising, organisation building and promoting overall community development.

Infant and Young Child Feeding

Child mortality rates, especially those of children under five, as well as the incidence of malnutrition among young children remain high in India. The infant and young child feeding programme is in need of an immediate reappraisal. To ensure the IYCF's optimal efficacy, it needs to be integrated into health, welfare and other outreach programmes presently underway in urban as well as in remote and far-flung rural areas.

Universalisation of ICDS and Community Health Worker Programmes

Lack of political will and inability to address the basic rights of children like pre-school education, créche facilities, food security and health have made the ICDS programme a failure. This article critically examines the ongoing ICDS programme in Chhattisgarh where the child malnutrition rate is around 60 per cent.

Implementation of ICDS in Bihar and Jharkhand

The ineffective utilisation of available finances sanctioned by the central government to the states results in the denial of the ICDS scheme to vast numbers of children, women and adolescent girls. This article exposes the apathy of the state governments of Bihar and Jharkhand towards this scheme, particularly in terms of coverage, financial procedures and practices adopted in the appointment of personnel.

Rethinking ICDS: A Rights Based Perspective

The ICDS programme is one of the most important public programmes in India, reaching out to the most neglected sections of the population. However, its coverage needs to be expanded to include every child, pregnant and nursing mothers, and adolescent girls. Its functions need to be separated, with a specialised person to provide pre-school education and another worker to take charge of health and nutrition aspects. Coordination between the health and education departments is required for maximum efficiency. Also, it is important to set clear goals, so that achievements can be assessed and work given direction.

Infant Survival: A Political Challenge

In a democracy, every child must be regarded as indispensable and the government must be accountable for the deaths of children and mothers. Unfortunately, the issue of children's health seldom finds space in contemporary political discourse in India. The process of ensuring that every child is taken care of as a matter of right involves societal pressure through public action and democratisation of all public institutions.

Food Dole or Health, Nutrition and Development Programme?

Child malnutrition is intimately related to inappropriate infant and young child feeding practices, and its beginnings set in during the first two years of an infant's life. The ICDS programme should be used to spread the message of correct feeding practices for infants. It was never envisaged as a food dole programme that it has now become.

Hidden Hunger

The prevalence of "hidden hunger" caused by micronutrient deficiency is widespread among India's rural children, especially in the age group of one to six. This articles examines possible interventions to address the issue and the lessons learnt from past experiences.
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