The Indian government has drawn up a road map to tackle
under-nutrition or stunting, which contributes to one-third of under-five child
deaths among tribal children.
A two-day conclave in Bhubaneswar will be conducted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs from January 15 in collaboration with the Government of Odisha and Unicef to chart a road map for Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana. The conclave aims to improve access to food, nutrition, health and sanitation services for children in tribal pockets.
"Stunting in tribal children, like that of all other children, is influenced by a multitude of factors including household food insecurity, maternal nutrition in the first two years of life and poor access to water, health and sanitation services. The central focus of this conclave is to emphasise how various government departments can coordinate, contribute and collaborate for reducing stunting in India's tribal children," the Ministry said in a statement.
According to the National Family Health Survey-3 (2005-06), the country has the highest number of stunted children and most of them are from tribal communities.
"Stunting adversely affects a child's survival, health, development, learning capacity, school performance and productivity in adulthood," the statement added