Modi calls for scientific survey on malnutrition

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 19:30 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has called for scientific survey of malnutrition in the country and said his government was working towards improving nutritional standards in the state.

In an interview to CNN-IBN, Modi said Gujarat was the first state in the country to start a specific programme called "nutrition mission" and around Rs.1,000 crore had been allocated for this.

Asked about his controversial remark in which he linked prevalence of relatively high malnutrition rate in the state to beauty consciousness among the middle class, Modi said Planning Commission has not given any Gujarat specific figure in the matter and there was nationwide concern over the issue.

"Prime minister has himself admitted that there is a very shameful situation across India on malnutrition. I've also appealed to work together. There is no specific survey or concrete data on malnutrition in the country. That's why I had asked for a scientific survey on malnutrition. It should be brought out what are the region specific problems regarding malnutrition," he said.

Asked about Swami Vivekanand Yuva Vikas Yatra, Modi said the year was being observed as 150th year of the noted thinker's birth anniversary.

He said his government's main aim was skill development among youth as 65 percent of country's population was below 35 years of age.

"We have to tone their skills and strengthen their hands. To compete with China we have to develop the skills. With this basic objective we have planned this youth programme. Our youth today feel inspired by two names-- Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Swami Vivekanand," he said.

Asked if he was using Swami Vivekanada's name for politics, Modi said had gathered lakhs of youth in his meetings and talked to them about ideology of the noted thinker.

"So calling it a political yatra without Vivekananda's ideology, is wrong....I've not decided on Vivekanand's 150th anniversary. This is a good thing. This is an election year and I think it's the responsibility of the political parties and the social organisations that they should work towards strengthening intuitions in a democracy," Modi said.

The month-long Swami Vivekanand Yuva Vikas Yatra ends Thursday.

More from Sify: