January 11, 2012

42% Indian Children suffer from Malnutrition

According to a report released on Hunger and Malnutrition (HUNGAMA), 42 per cent Indian children are suffering from malnutrition despite several healthcare schemes, which is described as a national shame.

Reacting to the report, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government could not rely on the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which takes care of the health and nutrition needs of children under the age of six.

Dr Singh said that the malnutrition is a matter of national shame when the country witnesses a significant growth in the GDP. Despite of several developmental programmes for children, there is no report of decline of malnutrition.

Even though, the ICDS is a major national programme, but the government cannot rely on it for a long period.

According to the latest report by the ICDS, the child underweight has decreased from 53 per cent to 42 per cent; around 20.3 per cent fall over a seven year period with an average annual rate of reduction of 2.9 per cent.

The report said that the percentage of child malnutrition is high in 100 districts where 40% of children are underweight and 60% stunted.

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