Manthan Topic: Nourish to
Flourish: Reducing malnutrition
STILL A MAJOR PROBLEM OF DEVELOPING INDIA
The condition that develops when the body doesn't get the right amount of vitamins,
minerals and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and other organs.
According to UNICEF
One in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India.
Malnutrition limits development and the capacity to learn. It also costs lives: about 50 per cent of all
childhood deaths are attributed to malnutrition.
Malnutrition in early childhood has serious, long-term consequences because it impedes motor,
sensory, cognitive, social and emotional development. Malnourished children are less likely to perform
well in school and more likely to grow into malnourished adults, at greater risk of disease and early
death. Around one-third of all adult women are underweight. Inadequate care of women and girls,
especially during pregnancy, results in low- birth weight babies. Nearly 30 per cent of all newborns
have a low birth weight, making them vulnerable to further malnutrition and disease.
FEMALES ARE MORE PRONE TO MALNUTRITION THAN MALES DUE TO THEIR LOW
Why even after becoming one of the largest economies our country is considered
home of the biggest population of malnourished individuals?
Facts, figures and details aside lets focus on dealing with this major obstacle in the
development of India.
How it should be How it really is
1990 2000 2010
The recent statistics via
various surveys & census
gives a clear indication that
despite of many EFFORTS by
Government and NGO’s
malnutrition is still deepening
its roots in India.
Programs to address the causes of malnutrition in India
Midday meal scheme in Indian schools
Integrated child development scheme
National Children's Fund
National Plan of Action for Children
United Nations Children's Fund
Also the National Rural Health Mission was also created.
The Food security Bill is another effort by the government in this direction.
Recently the issues regarding the urban malnutrition is gaining pace.
These programs though effective have not been able to be implemented fully from
grass root level.
•Provide food coupons to labors
along with their wages.Food coupons
•Setting up micro farms between
a group of houses.Micro farms
•Educating them regarding the
need of balanced diet.Education
It’s a shame that the wages earned by the laborers is spent on smoking, drinking, gambling
and other addictions instead of being spent on providing nutritious food to their family.
By providing food coupons to the laborers by reducing some amount of their wages we can
ensure that they might be able to get proper nutrition for themselves and their family.
How to implement :
In the first month these coupons will be distributed on trial bases.
After the responses and data are collected this model will be developed further into different
regions and necessary amendments will be made.
At least this ensures that the children and pregnant woman in the family of the laborers will be
able to procure proper food.
Setting up micro farms
The people under poverty line must be educated to setup small farms in their locality of
the essential grains and vegetables.
For setting this up they will be provided with seeds and fertilizers at subsidized rates by
It is also imperative to manage and minimize fluctuations in food grains production,
alienation of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, and migration from
villages/agriculture to urban areas/non-agricultural vocations.
Marginal and small farmers should be provided wherewithal to optimize their food
production for their food self-reliance; whereas the landless tillers should be provided
minimum an acre of agricultural land per household along with wherewithal for its
cultivation under rapid land reforms to enable them to achieve food self-reliance and
overcome hunger and malnutrition.
There should setting up of a special sector by the government whose aim will be to educate the
people to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Still there is a majority of population in India that lives on only one type of food product everyday
resulting in inadequate supply of nutrients.
The new agenda of providing pregnant women the necessary nutrients by the government must
be improved and made more practiced at grass root level.
The state government must ensure that strategies like the mid day meal are availed to all and
“Malnutrition is a chain
that holds lack our progress,
lets pledge to break the shackles
to free India from malnutrition”