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DCPCR asks ICDS to provide poor kids with milk & biscuits

DCPCR asks ICDS to provide poor kids with milk & biscuits

New Delhi: The COVID-19 lockdown has had the worst effect on children living in poverty, with parents unable to provide them with the required nutrition and having no access to mid-day meals owing to the closure of government schools and anganwadis.

Now, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has written to Deputy Director of Integrated Child Development (ICDS), asking them to provide milk and biscuits to these kids. There are about five lakh children who are registered with over 10,000 anganwadis in the Capital and the Delhi government is currently helping them with food and Paushtik Ladoos and Panjiri.

"As underprivileged families find themselves in the middle of a social and financial crisis, their ability to provide necessary food and nutrition to their children has been affected. If appropriate measures are not taken to ensure that there are no compromises regarding nourishment of children, this pandemic will impact the long-term health of the children, endangering them to various deficiency diseases and even malnourishment," reads the letter written by Ranjana Prasad, the DCPCR member.

The DCPCR recommended the inclusion of milk packets twice a week to all children in Delhi aged 0-6 years, as well as calorie supportive biscuits as the source of supplementing the nutrients. "The addition of milk and biscuits is essential to compensate for the likely reduction in other calorie foods during the lockdown as poor families face difficulty in access to adequate food due to inadequate income," Ranjana Prasad wrote, adding that the joint effort will help these kids.

Meanwhile, the DCPCR has set up a central helpline to provide counselling to children and their parents to allay their anxieties in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. The helpline — 011-41182977 — will operate from 10 am to 7 pm, seven days a week till April 30, according to the DCPCR.

"With the implementation of physical distancing nationally to control the spread of the Coronavirus, the helpline aims at supporting the children and their parents cope better with the fears, anxieties, stress and the uncertainties and reconcile with the new reality we find ourselves in," the DCPCR said.

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