CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala is getting ready to expand "community kitchens", envisaged to distribute nutritious food among tribals across Attappady, one of the largest tribal belts in the state. Minister for Scheduled Castes and Tribes A K Balan informed the Assembly that the kitchens would be expanded in all 192 hamlets in Attappady in Palakkad district this month itself. A total of Rs 3.48 crore had been handed over to the women self-help group 'Kudumbashree' for setting up the kitchens in rest of the hamlets. "Community kitchens are already functioning in 93 hamlets in Attappady.
It will be expanded to all 192 hamlets in the belt this month itself.", he said. "The number of community kitchens were 53 during the time of previous UDF government," he said while replying during the question hour. The number of infant deaths due to malnutrition had come down remarkably in tribal areas after the LDF government came into power, the minister said. In the last three months, six tribal children died in various settlements, which was low compared to the figures in the previous years, he said. A total of Rs 30.51 crore had been allotted for the treatment expenses of tribals during the present government's tenure, he said. Community Kitchen is a nutritional meal programme envisaged to address the malnutrition issues of tribals in the state. It was first started in the tribal areas of Palakkad district in 2013 to provide one full meal each day to children below six years, adolescents, pregnant women, and those above 60 years of age.
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