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ROURKELA: The district administration of Sundargarh has launched a pilot project to distribute ragi (millet) laddoos, spirulina sugar, and chikki among pre-school children to meet their nutritional needs.
The administration has tied up with the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) for the project under which 3,000 children from 214 Anganwadi centers of Hemgir block would be given four ragi laddoos once a week. Besides, over 5,000 children from 213 Anganwadi centers in Lephripada block, aged six months to three years would be given spirulina sugar. Similarly, those aged three to six years would be given spirulina chikki.
Launching the pilot project at Sundargarh town on Saturday, Women and Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu said the initiative, funded by District Mineral Foundation will help in meeting the nutritional needs of children.
“Spirulina and ragi are rich in nutrients. Issues of malnutrition, weight loss and lack of growth in children can be addressed through proper nutrition and the project is a step in that direction,” said Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan. He said the program will be extended to other blocks after receiving feedback from children and their parents.
The Collector said the State Government has signed an MoU with the Centre for Nutrition in Mysuru for technical support on Spirulina. After long research spirulina has been added as a supplement to food.
The target is to cultivate spirulina in Sundargarh in the coming days. “Similarly, under Odisha Millets Mission, we are getting as many Millets (ragi) harvest as possible in the district through TDDCOL. Women Self Help Groups are being provided millets to make ragi Laddoos,” he said.