Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that his government is committed towards breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition and transforming Chhattisgarh into a well-developed, well-nourished and healthy state. Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel was delivering the inaugural address at the ‘Outlook Poshan’ conference organized in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh said that gender inequality is the “greatest hindrance” in the fight against malnutrition. Male-female disparity is the main roadblock to achieving nutrition targets and the issue needs to be addressed when it comes to nutritious food. Member of Parliament from Bastar Deepak Baij and Rajya Sabha MP Chhaya Verma were also present on the occasion.
He expressed his happiness towards the forum for taking up real issues such as malnutrition. “I am happy that instead of discussing topics related to caste and religion, we are here to discuss some real issues like malnutrition. Today, it is important that we ensure good life on earth rather than tracing life on moon,” he said. Mr. Bhupesh Baghel said that statistics of malnutrition in India and Chhattisgarh is in alarming situation and the state government has taken many steps in the last six months to bridge the nutrition gap. He said that the emphasis on ‘baadi’ which means kitchen garden in the flagship scheme of Chhattisgarh “Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa, Baadi” was to address malnutrition. Kitchen garden in every household will ensure that family members have access to nutritious food, he added.
Referring to some of the steps taken by his government, he said that the state government has been planning to set up food processing units in each block with an aim to helping farmers in selling their products in market. The chief minister said that his government has been working towards implementation of universal health scheme in Chhattisgarh. He added that the government has waived off loans of farmers in the state and purchased their products on higher MSP to improve economic condition of the farmers. Chief Minister said that the government has linked DMF to education and good nourishment.
Speaking on the issue of egg in mid day meal, he said, “nutritional value of egg does not require any debate. We have included egg in mid day meal and the people of Chhattisgarh are supporting us. We also have an alternative meal for those children who don’t eat egg.” Chief Minister Mr. Baghel said that “gender disparity, poverty, lack of knowledge about nutrition and political will” are some of the roadblocks in the fight against malnutrition.