Letters

Malnourished children

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remark that the high rate of malnourishment among children under five is a “national shame” is an expression of concern. If children remain malnourished, our country will become weak and feeble. Children in most Asian countries are malnourished or undernourished.

Both the Centre and State governments spend a lot on the health and welfare of pregnant women. But the beneficiaries do not get their due, thanks to corrupt officials and middlemen. More and more children in the lower strata and the BPL group fall victim to this social malady.

M. Somasekhar Prasad,

Badvel

Dr. Singh has described the high rate of malnourishment among children under five as a “national shame.” But what is really shameful is the indifference of the Department of Women and Child Development, and its apathy to the offers made by giant corporates to help alleviate malnutrition among anganwadi children.

Although the ICDS is the most important tool to fight malnutrition, we should also look for other trusted avenues like corporate help.

S. Usha,

Chennai

It is, indeed, very sad to learn that 42 per cent of children under five are malnourished, in spite of the Green, White, industrial, IT, and many other revolutions. Children are the future of the country. If they live in deprivation, how can they grow as responsible, dignified and productive citizens? The root of the problem lies in the anaemic women who keep having children. Added to this are the problems of illiteracy, unhygienic conditions and lack of health facilities.

Owing to resource crunch, both the mother and child, particularly daughter, remain undernourished. The government has many programmes in place for the welfare of women and children. All those entrusted with the implementation should discharge their responsibility with utmost sincerity and commitment. For our part, we must do whatever we can to ensure that the poor in our neighbourhood do not go to sleep without food.

Tish Malhotra,

Delhi

India's image at the global level has been tarnished by not only pervasive corruption in the country but also reports on the health and nutrition of children. India is the second largest producer of wheat and rice and the largest producer of jowar, bajra and gram. Tonnes of food grains are exported annually. But it is shocking to see that 42 per cent of our children are malnourished. Such a dismal state of affairs will surely jeopardise our dreams of becoming a superpower. We are no longer a food deficit country. Where, then, does the problem lie?

It lies in poor storage facilities, transportation, etc.

The PDS system needs to be revamped. The government's cash transfer and coupon schemes are meant to undermine the PDS. We need to shift to universal PDS.

Hardeep Singh,

Mohali


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 8:33:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/malnourished-children/article2796443.ece

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