As per the UNICEF report published in May, 2006 there are 57 million underweight children in India.
The action being taken by the Government under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to overcome the problem is as follows:
1. Implementing the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMNC) which includes management of the commonest causes of neonatal and childhood illnesses and malnutrition.
2. Implementation the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) guidelines which have been developed by the Government of India.
3. Implementing supplementation with micronutrients -Vitamin A, Iron Folic Acid and salt fortification with Iodine.
4. Expansion of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and revising the financial norms for supplementary nutrition under ICDS.
5. Revival of nutrition programme for adolescent girls.
6. Advocacy through Mass Media.
7. Various States have taken up these initiatives like the Bal Sanjeevani programme of Madhya Pradesh, Dular project of Bihar and Jharkhand and Malnutrition Eradication drive of Government of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
8. Monthly Health and Nutrition days are being organized in every village with the help of the Anganwadi Workers, ANM (Auxillary Nurse Midwife) and the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists).
This information was given in the Rajya Sabha today by Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a written reply to a question by Shri Prasanta Chatterjee.