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Covid measure for better nutrition? Odisha PDS 'doesn't offer' enough dal to poor

Wall writing to propagate nutritional value of dal 
By Our Representative
An Odisha civil society report has revealed that despite the fact that the state government has been offering 1 kg of dal (pulses) per month to each family as a "covid elevation measure", 63% of the families families surveyed said the dal lasted between one and five days, while 27% of families consumed dal between six and 10 days.
While of 99.9% families agreed that dal has nutritional value, the survey, says a civil society note, people need dal from the government “as a nutrition supplement looking at the consumption trend”, insisting, “Access to and availability of dal is a challenge to people, especially in remote areas.”
Carried out to assess whether nutritional food security is being taken care of by the government’s publilc distribution system by NGOs Atmashakti Trust and its allies Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, and titled “Consumption of Dal and its Impact on nutritional food security in Odisha”, the survey, claimed the report, covered more than 10,000 families in 16 districts, among those are dominated by tribals, Dalits and other marginalised communities.
The report quoted the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2016 to say that there were 8.3 lakh live births in Odisha, of which more than 26,000 newborns did not survive their first 28 days of life, and more than 41,000 did not live to celebrate their fifth birthday. “Malnutrition of mother and child is a primary contributing factor for these untimely deaths”, the report insisted.
According to the report, “No doubt, the state has done improvement on the percentage of malnourished children under-5 in the state. Thus in the fourth National Family Health Survey (2015-16), 34.4% were found to be malnourished, as against 40.7% in a decade earlier (NFHS-3). 
However, it underlined, “The tribal communities still suffer the most. Almost half of the under-5 children from tribal communities in Odisha are underweight, and the stunting rate among them is 46%. Malnutrition is as high as 51.8% in Malkangiri district, while other tribal districts are way behind the state average in their performance.”
The report quotes panchayati raj institute (PRI) members as stating that the government should continue dal in PDS and include edible oil and iodised salt in its regular supply under the State Food Security Scheme which will benefit the people who cannot afford these commodities.
Thus, sarpanch of Korukudupa gram panchayat in Kandhamal district Pukuru Majhi said that the government must include dal, edible oil and the iodized salt under PDS as this will help the needy and poor to consume food that has nutritional supplements.
He has written a letter to the chief minister in this regard and hopes that the government would take immediate steps to include these in PDS. Premashila Nayak, a ward member of Bruhabadi village of Raikia block has also written a letter to the chief minister, urging upon the need to ensure nutritional food security for all.



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