Villagers consume non-iodised salt in remote Achham villagesOne kilo of iodised salt costs up to Rs 40 in remote parts of the district, while non-iodised salt is available at Rs 20 per kilo.
People living in remote parts of Achham district consume non-iodised salt due to a lack of awareness.There are no salt depots of Salt Trading Corporation in the remote parts of the district. Most of the impoverished families say they consume non-iodised salts, as they are cheaper than iodised salt.
Matu BK of Dhungachalna in Dhakari Rural Municipality-6 said that they have been consuming non-iodised salt for many years.
“Non-iodised salt are much cheaper than iodised salt. A packet of iodised salt doesn’t even last for a week, ” BK said.
One kilogram of iodised salt costs up to Rs 40 in remote parts of the district, while non-iodised salt is available at Rs 20 per kilogram.
Though representatives of social organisations launch campaigns to aware villagers on the benefits of iodosed salt time and again, they have not taken initiatives to transport iodosed salt to the remote villages,” said Juna BK, a local woman of Dhungachalna.
Nira Saud, an auxiliary nurse midwife at the Dhungachalna Health Post, said she has been advising pregnant women to consume iodised salt.
“At least 15 pregnant women arrive at the health post for a check up on a daily basis. But, they don’t consume iodised salt, which means they are risking their own lives along with their children’s to save a few rupees” Saud said. Health workers say that children in remote areas are found with congenital disabilities due to a lack of iodine in their food. There is a lack of awareness among locals on the importance of iodine in their food.
“There are no salt depots in the rural areas. Most of the customers here want non-iodised salt,” said Padam Budha, a local businessman of Dhungachalna.Laxmi Saud, vice chairperson of Dhakari Rural Municipality, said that children and women are being affected due to the lack of iodised salt. “The depot in Dhakari cannot distribute iodised salt to all the villages. We are taking initiatives to establish salt depots in remote areas as well,” Saud said.