States told to use traditional tribal foods to curb malnutrition

New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Following several deaths of tribals due to malnutrition in Odisha and Maharashtra, the government on Wednesday informed Parliament that it has advised the states for the use of traditional food in the food basket.

The government said that malnutrition issues were also reported from Malkangiri district and in residential schools for tribal children of Odisha.

The Ministry of Tribal Welfare said that public health is a state subject and that the state governments have been asked to address the problem of malnutrition promptly.

“All the states have also been advised for use of traditional food, and minor millets in the food basket, through intervention in schools and also for supplementing food with iron and folic acid”, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jaswantsinh Bhabhor informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Over 20 children from Juan tribe in Odisha’s Jajpur district and over 13 from Katakari tribe in Maharashtra’s Palghar district have died due to malnutrition between August and September.