Bhubaneswar: The State women & child development and Mission Shakti principal secretary, Anu Garg, has expressed her satisfaction over the achievement of her department during the year 2019.

“As we wave goodbye to 2019, we look back at the highlights of the year, the achievements that made it memorable,” she said after reviewing the activities of the department, here on Monday.

Recent national level surveys suggest that Odisha has been consistently performing better than national average on the key nutritional outcomes, she said adding, “Rate of decline in stunting has been faster in Odisha than other States (”

The highlights of the major achievements are:

Coverage under Government’s flagship scheme ‘Mamata’ crossed 40 lakh beneficiaries; the scheme’s feedback under ‘Mo Sarkar’ was extremely encouraging.

Government approved Rs.5000 crore worth of work under Govt. Schemes for WSHGs under Mission Shakti-even as WSHGs got involved in fisheries, meter reading, MDM, PDS outlets.

Mission Shakti WSHGs were given loans at 0% rate of interest; first ever Mission Shakti Mela was organized from 5-16th December (with approx. sales of Rs. 6 crores) .

State launched a strategy against child marriage in the state; as many as 411 child marriages were foiled & new rules framed.

Honorarium of AWW/AWH was increased; their years of engagement was increased from 60 to 62 years; an exit policy announced for them and 50% reservation made for AWWs in the post of Supervisor ( from earlier 30%)

Odisha became one of the few States in the country to give 5 eggs per week to its AWC kids. An app and MIS – ‘Mo Chattua’ was launched along with ‘Fixed Day’ for mixing ingredients (23rd of the month) and also for distribution (1st of the month) to regulate its quality.

According to a 2019 report by Accountability Initiative, a New Delhi-based think-tank, Odisha had the highest increase in the number of pre-school beneficiaries, Odisha had one of the lowest proportions of non-functional anganwadis (3%).

IFPRI studied the progress of several countries and 28 Indian states, identifying Odisha as a “nutrition champion”, along with Thailand, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Vietnam and Ethiopia.

The Jaccha-Baccha Survey (JABS, June 2019) coordinated by Jean Drèze, Reetika Khera and Anmol Somanchi conducted in six states noted how Odisha, was making steady progress in matters of food security, child nutrition and public health as important signs of hope in Odisha and has been considered in the category of ‘leader’ states. Few key excerpts from the report: 1. Odisha has its own maternity benefit scheme, the Mamata scheme. This scheme covers two births, not one, and seems to work 6 relatively well: among the nursing women we interviewed, 88% of those who were eligible for Mamata had applied, and 75% of those who had applied had received at least one instalment. 2. It is raining eggs in Odisha’s anganwadis. Not only do children aged 3-6 years get an egg 5times a week with their midday meal, eggs are also distributed as “take-home ration”(THR)for younger children as well as pregnant and nursing women.