GUWAHATI, July 14 - Parliamentarians cutting across party lines today said that the issue of malnutrition must be given due priority by the Union as well as the State governments.
On a visit to the State, a team of Citizens� Alliance Against Malnutrition comprising MPs and other eminent personalities, stressed the need for addressing the issue on a mission mode.
The high-level advocacy group visited Raha in Nagaon to take stock of the ground realities in Assam. With a positive response from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on starting a nutrition mission in the State, the young parliamentarians hoped that the issue would be treated with the required urgency.
�Despite the growth and development of the country, the issue of malnutrition remains alarming. Unless the governments prioritise the issue and the awareness level is increased, the desired results cannot be achieved,� said Jay Panda, Lok Sabha member from Odisha.
The prime objective of the alliance is to raise its voice against malnutrition so that collective national consciousness can be converted into positive action to eliminate the menace of malnutrition. As a part of the initiative, the alliance members visit the regions with high prevalence of malnutrition in the country.
Earlier in a meeting with the UNICEF, the members discussed malnutrition-related issues in tea gardens, chars and tribal areas of the State.
�Apart from infrastructure development, we need a change in attitude of the society towards pre and post-natal care. Awareness should be taken to a level where more and more people can get better healthcare facility,� said industrialist Gautam Thapar.
Also stressing the need to ensure coordination between the multiple ministries and departments, the group said that the issue must be included at the top of the Prime Minister�s agenda.
�If the issue is addressed on a mission mode, there would be a comprehensive and holistic intervention powered with technical and logistic support, proper monitoring and evaluation, planned programme implementation and tracking the developments on the field,� claimed MP Gaurav Gogoi.
Other members of the group included political commentator Niraja Choudhury, Lok Sabha member from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering, gazal singer Pinaz Masani, MPs Sushmita Deb, Supriya Sule, Dinesh Trivedi, Madhu Yakshi and former MP Jayant Choudhary.