A recent Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) survey found that one in every four children at Anganwadi centers is underweight and suffering from malnutrition. Most of these children belong to the economically weaker sections of society.
There are around 13.3 lakh Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centers across the country, which provide supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, immunization and health check-ups for the children from economically weaker sections.
Concerned by the issue of undernourishment, the Women and Child Development Ministry is planning to upgrade its four existing quality control labs for monitoring the nutrition level of supplements given to these children.
A ministry official said, "There are four old laboratories in each metro which are non-functional. We will upgrade them depending on the amount of funds we are able to get from the government. The labs will conduct random tests on food and raw materials used by the Anganwadis to feed the children. Delhi lab will be revamped to a state-of-art facility."
The labs will carry out random tests of the food supplied to the children at Anganwadis to check whether the supplement is in accordance with the prescribed norms of the ministry's Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).