In a bid to improve the nutrition level of tribal children of Gadchiroli, a unique Artificial Intelligence-based machine has been installed at Todsa Ashram School of Etapalli. The machine takes a photo of the student with her/his plate of food and within a few seconds, without any human intervention, identifies whether the quality of the food is good.
The Maharashtra government is reaching out to the tribals living in the villages aiming to eliminate malnutrition, as part of which the Naxalite-affected district of Gadchiroli, which has been devoid of development for years, is being assisted with the help of modern technology, officials said.
The officials further said that in the tribal areas, the students are given residential education in the ashram school run by the government, and food provided to the students is claimed to be nutritious, yet children in tribal-dominated areas are malnourished.
"To tackle this, there was a need to distribute quality nutritious food to the students, with the help of equipment developed by modern technology," they said.
A campaign, which is a pilot project has been started in Todsa Ashram School in Etapalli Tehsil of Gadchiroli district.
"An NGO is helping this campaign being run through the Integrated Tribal Development Project of the Government of Maharashtra, along with the help of Udyog Yantra start-up, a machine based on artificial intelligence has been installed in Todsa Ashram school. This machine was trained according to local data, food of the tribal area and quantity of food," officials said.
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Every day when the girls want food, they stand in front of the machine with the food on the plate and after placing it on the machine, the machine takes a photo of that plate.
"Within a few seconds, the machine identifies the child to whom this food is being given, whether is it for her, and if it is in sufficient quantity. If the same plate of food is being kept repeatedly, the machine will tell," they said.
The algorithm of artificial intelligence is being used. The access is with the headmaster in the ITDP office, without any human intervention. The machine identifies whether the quality of the children's food was good or not.
Assistant Collector of Etapalli and Project Director of Integrated Tribal Development Project, Shubham Gupta said, "When I used to come to this ashram school, I felt that there was a nutritional imbalance in the girls studying here, and to identify it, we did Body Mass Index (BMI) analysis."
"It was found that 61 girls out of 222 were victims of malnourishment. We thought about how to correct it so that this issue can be solved. With the help of artificial intelligence, the machine we installed in this situation proved effective for improvement," he added.
Gupta said that the administration is achieving good results from the project and the quality of food has improved.
"We are getting very good results, the quality of food has improved in the last six months, as well as the nutritional intake, protein, carbohydrate, overall indicators, and BMI of the children are also improving. The machine is doing this without human intervention. On the basis of the success achieved in the pilot project, now this machine will be installed in other ashram schools," Gupta further stated.
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