MALNOURISHMENT – “NATIONAL SHAME”
Despite various surveys repeatedly screaming their heads off about the malnutrition, 42 per cent of the Indian children under five years are malnourished, 59 percent suffer mental retardation and other serious ailments!
This is a glaring lapse on the part of the government that in India children below five years continue to suffer and become more prone to illness due to lack of nourishment. Speaking about this alarming issue, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has rightly termed it as a, “National Shame.”
This was once again highlighted on the 3rd day of the “International Conference on Science, Society and Sustainability,” held at Lady Doak College in Madurai, South Tamil Nadu, India, from Jan 11 to 13, 2012. Many eminent persons spoke about the importance of nourishment for the growing mind.
Taking inventory of the earlier reports, (given below) it is obvious that the concerned are in deep slumber. Will they ever wake up?
- HUNGaMA report had highlighted the looming danger of malnutrition.
- Naandi Foundation revealed the ill-fated situation in prevalent.
- The National Family Health Surveys also came out with an exhaustive report.
- National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau unearthed this fateful situation before.
Yet, nothing concrete has been found out or done so far. The Indian government voiced its concern to control under-nutrition in 1993. Two years later, in 1995, the National Plan of Action on Nutrition woke up. But all the same! All these findings have gone with the wind in India! In spite of its presence for 36 years now, the Integrated Child Development had no adequate manpower!
It also paints a bad picture on India’s ignorance and the two sides of its faces. In one part of India, the food grains rot in the granary while elsewhere, people are starving and as a result of which, according to a survey, so many farmers had committed suicide in many parts in India. It is shocking at the increasing rate of farmer’s taking this extreme step!
Indian government is burning precious oil in many activities like, moon exploration by sending Chandrayan and rendering financial assistance to other deserving countries. But the administrators turn their blind eyes when this malnutrition problem keeps banging the doorstep all these years!
It so happened that the PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, who expressed his concern termed it as a “National Shame.” But there ended his responsibilities!
It is mostly prevalent in the villages where the literacy rate is poor. Pregnant women, due to poverty, could not get at least one square meal a day. If so, how the child growing in her womb would be healthy? Even after the birth, the child is seldom fed with proper milk and food!
In this aspect, Tamil Nadu state has become the role model with the former Chief Minister and matinee idol M G Ramachandran ordered free Noon Meal Scheme. Accordingly, the children are served with nutritious meal on all the 365 days in a year, with an egg, whether or not the school works.