According to a 2010-11 study made by National Institute of Nutrition, 42% of the children are malnourished across the country. 45.6% of the children in rural areas are found to be underweight and 49.6% of them were found to be undernourished. This alarming health conditions are not just restricted to rural areas, but are extended even to urban areas, with urban areas constituting for 25-30% of malnourished children in the country. The other sad fact is that, every second child in India is starving.
In case of AP, 38.8% of children under the age group of 1 – 5 years are found to be undernourished and 48.1% of children were found to have stunted growth.
Despite the several nutritional programs being taken up across the country by NIN as well as government, there were no results seen due to their poor implementation. Especially in AP, lack of proper monitoring an supervision resulted in food supply not reaching the children. Even in case of midday meals scheme, the food is found to be of low quality.
Even the major national nutritional program ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services), which is supposed to fulfill one-third of a child’s nutritional requirement, was of no use in reducing the malnourishment in children across the country. The dry soya and wheat mixture given to children as a part of this scheme is very much tasteless and is not liked by children.
In regard to this pathetic health conditions in India, even the PM was found to quote the situation as a matter of national shame. He also pointed out to the policy makers to design programs understanding various aspects like education, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene of drinking water, etc.
Source: Times of India and NDTV.com