Millennium Post

State schemes help to boost health status of adolescent girls

Kolkata: Bengal government has achieved a significant improvement in enhancing nutritional values and the health status among the adolescent girls from the districts by adopting various schemes and allotting for funds for each individual.

Around 58,123 more adolescent girls belonging to the age group of 11-14 years have been identified across the state in the last financial year and they have been brought under the Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG). SAG aims to provide nutritious foods to the adolescent girls and improve the health status of the girls in the districts who have financial constraints.

The scheme also intends to equip them with various skills and provide them with knowledge on family welfare, health and hygiene. Taking the dropped outs into the main stream by bringing them under the ambit of formal schooling is one of the main purposes of the scheme.

The state government introduced the scheme in 2011-12 in six districts like Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Malda, Nadia, Kolkata and Purulia covering 29,444 anganwadi centers under 140 ICDS projects. The scheme was universalized in the financial year 2018-19 and it has been implemented in all the 23 districts of the state. More than 1,16,047 anganwadi centers have been made operational under 575 ICDS projects across the state.

According to the data provided by the state Women and Child Development and Social Welfare department, around 80,000 adolescent girls (aged between 11-18) who are out of the school have been given IFA tablets under the scheme till March this year.

The department has been conducting counselling sessions across the state to make the adolescent girls aware about various social issues and on how to stay healthy. As many as 1.45 lakhs of AGs attended Nutrition and Health Education (NHE) counseling sessions under the SAG scheme in the last financial year. The rate of supplementary nutrition has been enhanced from Rs 5 per day to Rs 9.5 per day per head from August 2018.

According to the state Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, around 91,000 adolescent girls attended Life Skill Education (LSE) sessions while 72,000 attended exposure visits to the Public Services Institutions from six districts where the progarmme was introduced.

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