OdishaPlus Bureau

  • Spirulina distribution to be expanded across Sundargarh
  • Distribution through 3,809 Anganwadi Centres
  • Over 1, 42,000 children to be benefited
  • Sundargarh becomes first district of Odisha and eastern India to use Spirulina
  • Ragi Ladoo distribution completes one year in the district
  • Nutrition programme supported by DMF

“My son did not eat properly. After having Spirulina Chikki, he now shows interest in eating, has gained weight and become more active” said Sasmita Samal, from Rajgangpur block.

One year ago on 15th August 2020, the Spirulina fortified sugar and chikki distribution programme was started on a pilot basis at Lephripara block of Sundargarh. It was subsequently spread to Rajngangpur, Kutra,  Tangarpali and Hemgir blocks and Rajgangpur Municipality.

Spirulina is a plant based nutrition supplement. It helps  children to grow physically and mentally. Under the Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Department, by the Spirulina distribution programme has been undertaken through Anganwadi centres to enhance children’s nutrition.

“Spirulina contains lots of nutrition. Spirulina fortified sugar and chikki is being provided to the children because it is beneficial for children’s health and helps to improve immunity”, informs CDMO Sundargarh Dr. Saroj Kumar Mishra.

In a survey done by the district administration Sundargarh, the parents had shared positive feedback on Spirulina. After a successful pilot phase, Spirulina sugar and chikki are going to be distributed across the district from 15th August 2021. Over 1, 42,000 children will be benefited with the programme under 21 ICDS sectors through 3,809 Anganwadi centres.

“Presently, Spirulina is being imported from outside of the state. But soon, it will be cultivated in Sundargarh by the WSHGs. It will ensure the livelihood for farmers and Mission Shakti Women SHGs. Sundargarh is the first district of Odisha and eastern India to be using Spirulina for children’s nutrition”, says Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan.

Spirulina: The Powerhouse of Nutrition

Spirulina is a plant based food supplement to curb any nutrient deficit among children.  It contains nutrition like – Amino acid, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins, Vitamins like B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, vitamin-K, vitamin-E, vitamin-H and water. It helps to improve eyesight, digestion system, purified blood, immunity, makes the brain active, anti-inflammatory, prevent Anemia and develops health condition.

“My baby was underweight during birth. The Anganwadi workers came to home and gave Spirulina fortified sugar. Now she is gaining weight and has become more active than before” said Chumuki Khudia from Kutra Block.

The Anganwadi workers have a major role in successful distribution of Spirulina. They distribute Spirulina at children’s doorsteps due to COVID.  Spirulina fortified sugar for infants (07 months to 2 years) and Spirulina fortified Chikki for children of (2-6 years) are being given. The Anganwadi workers regularly monitor the health, height and weight of children after consuming spirulina.

“Due to COVID we are distributing Spirulina at children’s doorsteps. We are monitoring regularly the height, weight and health of children to see the growth” said Umarani Badi, Anganwadi worker of Rajgangpur Municipality.

Ragi Ladoo (Millet) Supplements Children’s Health:

Like Spirulina, the Sundargarh district administration also started distribution of Ragi Ladoo through the Anganwadi centres in Sundargarh. Ragi Ladoo is being distributed as a morning snack for children between 3 to 6 years.

Amid COVID lockdown, the Anganwadi workers are providing Raggi Laddoo mix to the children’s doorsteps. The mothers then prepare Ladoo , Kheer or Barfi using the mix and feed them to the children.

Millets is being cultivated in 11 blocks of Sundargarh. The administration is encouraging millets production and consumption as local food in Sundargarh. Millets is beneficial for children because of its nutrition potential.

Millets cultivation under Odisha Millets Mission in Sundargarh helps to ensure the livelihoods of local farmers. Additionally, 39 SHGs are involved in preparing the Ragi Ladoo mix which supports their livelihood under Mission Shakti. With the financial support of DMF, the District Administration has shown new avenues of income generation for rural women of SHGs in the district.