Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 16:
Participants at the two-day national conclave organized by ST and SC Development Department of Odisha government, SCST Research and Training Institute, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and UNICEF that concluded here today, reaffirmed their commitment to ending chronic under nutrition (stunting) of tribal children across nine Schedule V states.
In his speech, read out by his PS Suresh Vashisth, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram assured his commitment to reviewing the recommendations put forward at the conclave.
Over 210 participants from the government of Odisha and Schedule V states, legislatures, practioners, frontliners, academia and civil society across nine states deliberated the strategies for improving nutrition of tribal children.
The broad recommendations that emerged at the end of the Conclave included:
- Making nutrition of tribal children a political and bureaucratic priority to stir policy dialogue and coordinated action.
- Setting up mechanisms for coordinating actions for nutrition, health, drinking water and sanitation and livelihoods at the highest level at both State and Central levels.
- Universalisation of public funded crèches in tribal areas
- Disaggregated data on tribal nutrition through surveys
- Institution of weekly haat should be tapped to deliver services and take messages
- ITDA has relevance and requires strengthening with more representation from all concerned departments.
- Community nutrition and day care centres can provide meals to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, counselling and linkage to savings groups and livelihoods options.
- Civil society and faith-based organizations with established grassroots presence and credibility can increase outreach of services and information on government schemes and generate community demand.