India Shining:Its Children are not!
I have had the opputunity to study closely the prevalance of Child Malnourishment in India.India is home to 400 million children out of which 47% of the children are malnourished.A very number for a country which runs the most complex and extensive Child care programme(ICDS) in the world.
To me what was most surprising was the fact that child malnutrition does not happen only due to saricty of food.There many other varied factors at play here.One important and often overlooked factor is the co-relation between DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and MALNUTRITION.In India it is a common pracice to withhold food to women as a part of torture.This continued practice renders a person weak.This abuse gets magnified when she becomes pregnant.A weak mother gives bith to a weak and malnourished infant.
Another pertinant fcator is that child care practices in India especially with regard to nutrition is shrouded in superstition.Often women are not aware of nutritous food to be given to growing infants and children.This creates a situation where the nutritional needs of children are not met.
These two factors result in a vicious circle , where intergenrational malnutrition as a pattern is established.
There is hope at the end of the tunnel though.Like minded politicians cutting across party lines as well as eminent personalities from various field have joined hand to create an alliance.The alliance has been initiated recently and its main aim is to create awareness about malnutition in the masses and to minimise child malnutrition.
A committee is also being established under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister , this committee will directly look into the causes of Child Malnutrition and work on it in a "focussed and effective manner".
Hopefully, this move will ensure results.