A campaign to create awareness among the rural masses to help them overcome malnutrition has been launched in Hassan district by the Department of Information, Government of Karnataka.
Eight publicity units, 10-12 streetplay troupes and around 24 department officials, besides local publicity officers are engaged in the campaign
During the publicity campaign, eight publicity units are visiting two villages a day to cover all the 160 villages in eight taluks and are creating awareness on nutritional issues through streetplays, film shows, exhibition and folk songs, Assistant Director of Information of Mysore G Chandrakanth said on Friday.
Hassan is the second district to be covered under the state campaign, after Mysore district and Mandya in Mysore division which comprises eight other districts - Chamarajanagar, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu and Chikmagalur. The campaign in Mandya was conducted last year, he told Business Standard.
Every year, one district is chosen for the intensive publicity campaign to fight malnutrition in rural areas. The ongoing campaign in Hassan will conclude on December 22, Chandrakanth said.
According to Deputy Director of Information A R Prakash the campaign is chiefly aimed at creating awareness on overcoming malnutrition by adopting village-level solutions like locally available foodgrains, vegetables and fruits.
Hassan Assistant Director of Information Vinod Chandra said only 14 of the 160 villages were left to be covered tomorrow, the last day. Response, particularly from women and children, was good in all the 144 villages covered so far.
While Horticulture Department officials were conducting demonstrations on use of locally grown nutritious vegetables, greens and fruits to overcome malnutrition, Health Department teams were educating people on health and hygiene. Besides the participation of Women and Child Welfare Department staff, Anganwadi and Asha workers were actively spreading the campaign, he said.
The Department had launched a phone-in programme in association with the Krishi Ranga (Farm Platform) of the All India Radio, Mysore Station, to bring about a change in the mindset of the people and make them to go in for locally available foodgrains, greens and vegetables to derive nutritional benefits The phone-in programme, “Anna-Chinna” (Food is gold), will be broadcast on five Sundays.
Launching the phone-in programme, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Ajay Nagabhushan said direction will be given to the Women and Child Welfare Department to undertake a survey of children of cooly workers who are migrating to Mysore for sugarcane cultivation and other jobs.
To overcome malnutrition issue in the district, 10 kg foodgrains are being distributed to pregnant women and lactating mothers every month since July last in Angwandi centres of the district. This included one kg turdal, four kg wheat and three kg rice. Besides nutritious food, egg and and milk was being made available every week for Angwandi children.
The contract has been put on hold and further payments have been stopped
Even paddy production could take a beating in these areas, as prolonged break in rains could increase the reliance on groundwater