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When emojis find serious use in Madhya Pradesh: Identify and help malnourished kids

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Special Correspondent

NewsBits.in

Burhanpur/Bhopal: Emojis need not always be casual or fun. This is being proved in Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh, where the district administration has started using the now popular emojis (expressive faces used on social media) to identify and help malnourished children.

In a bid to tackle the issue of malnutrition, especially in the tribal pockets of the district, the administration has started marking the houses with different emojis to identify whether the children there are healthy, malnourished or severely malnourished.

Once identified, the severely malnourished children and their mothers are provided additional third and fourth nutritious meals in anganwadi centres (all children are given two meals regularly at the anganwadis) in a bid to nurture them back to health.

For health children green smiling emoji is used, for malnourished kids yellow flat faced emoji is painted on the house concerned, while for severely malnourished kids – red sad faced emoji is painted.

“Our aim is to identify the children and their houses so that the community also gets alert to the nutrition status of the children and gets involved in the process of helping the children get healthy,” district collector of Burhanpur Deepak Singh told NewsBits.in.

He said that since the district was somewhat remote and had about 39% tribal population, malnutrition was a running risk. The district administration was able to identify 140 anganwadi centres with large number of severely malnourished kids and was providing them and their mothers with two additional nutritious meals (total four).

“However in some areas there were few severely malnourished children but they were not covered under the running programme. So we decided to identify the houses and manage these children through community monitoring,” the collector said.

He mentioned that the programme would run till all the severely malnourished kids had been nurtured back to health. (Photo courtesy: Bhaskar, Burhanpur)

Sravani Sarkar

Editor-in-Chief Sravani Sarkar has been a journalist for 21 years. She started her career with Lokmat Times and had later joined Indian Express. She worked with Hindustan Times for 15 yrs. An award winning journalist, she is known for her work on malnutrition and women's issues in central India.