As per the National Family Health Survey-3, 2005-06, the percentage of children below the age of 5 with underweight and anemia is 42.5% and 69.5% respectively in the country. The Minister of State (I/C) of Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath stated this in Rajya Sabha.
She said that the problem of malnutrition is multidimensional and intergenerational nature which needs to be tackled through focused and coordinated intervention in areas of food security sanitation and safe drinking water, nutrition, health, family welfare and poverty alleviation and income generation .Since there are multiple determinants of malnutrition, this can not be addressed by single sector scheme or intervention alone. This requires multi sectoral, direct and indirect interventions. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is one of the many schemes which address the problem of malnutrition.
The Minister further stated that ICDS is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, implemented by the State Government / UT Administrations. It provides a package of services including supplementary nutrition to children below six years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers. Supplementary nutrition under the ICDS is primarily designed to bridge the gap between the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Average Dietary Intake (ADI) and is not a substitute to any meals to be given to children at home. Beneficiaries under the ICDS are required to be provided Supplementary Nutrition, in accordance with Guidelines issued by Government of India.