Around 14 lakh fake children have been found registered with Anganwadi centres in Assam, drawing benefits from the POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission), the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry said on Thursday.
"The data was provided by the Assam government on children aged 0-6 years, which is our cap for the scheme. We (WCD) have sent out instructions to all the other states to cut out fake children registered at Anganwadi centres," WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said during an orientation programme on the nutrition scheme held here.
According to the ministry, there are more than 10 crore children registered with the Anganwadi centres across the country.
Speaking at the event, Union WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi too highlighted the issue of fake children getting benefits of the scheme and requested the states to monitor it.
"POSHAN Abhiyaan will uproot the shortcomings prevailing in the health sector in our nation. For this, I urge stakeholders to streamline the system and check the actual beneficiaries of this campaign," she said.
Gandhi further said the POSHAN Abhiyaan is the next big project undertaken by her ministry after "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)" and added that it will be a great step towards eradicating malnutrition and stunting.
"All District Collectors and District Magistrates (DMs) need to streamline the entire segment which is like buying food, preparing it, etc. We will be able to turn India around if DMs take charge. In BBBP, we were able to transform sex ratio at birth (SRB) from 830 to 930. Likewise, the Nutrition chapter needs to be written," she stated.
The POSHAN Abhiyaan, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year, targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight among children, and also focuses on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.