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MPs Vow to Fight Malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh

Gwalior, Leaders of various political parties along with activists and film personalities have expressed concern for millions of malnourished children// in Madhya Pradesh and have vowed to fight it.

Around 78,000 children in the state are suffering from acute malnutrition and half of them may die in the next five years, observed an activist accompanying the members of Citizen Alliance, who are visiting the villages in Madhya Pradesh to assess malnourishment among children and ways to combat it.

"We have started an important task necessitated by the figures of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - III, which puts Madhya Pradesh on top as far as child malnourishment is concerned," said Congress MP Sachin Pilot, who was part of a visiting team here last week that also included upcoming Bollywood artistes, young MPs and media persons.

The team visited Neemchandwa, Rampuira and Patai, which are dominated by impoverished Sahariya tribals.

Those who embarked on a countrywide tour to study various nutrition schemes of the government included Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain, Jay Panda of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), ghazal singer Penaz Masani and actress Gauri Kartik. Veteran journalist Neerja Chowdhry also accompanied the team.

According to a survey by the health ministry, around 48 percent of India's children and 60 percent of the state in 0-6 years age group are malnourished.

It also indicates that the number of undernourished children below three years has increased in the past few years despite a host of government schemes and ample funds. If the poor hygienic condition and illiteracy among women were the main factors contributing to the menace, glitches were also found in the implementation of schemes.

The anganwadis, which handle health and nutrition of children under six years, are in disarray. In Rampur
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