'Children come hungry to school, breakfast could make a difference' | The Hindu In Focus Podcast

Dr. Dipa Sinha speaks to us on what needs to be done to address the problem of malnutrition, which has long-lasting consequences on the health and wellbeing of the nation

August 26, 2021 06:36 pm | Updated August 30, 2021 11:07 am IST

Earlier this month, the Union Education Ministry told a parliamentary panel that the plan to serve breakfast to students in government schools had to be shelved as the Finance Ministry had refused to sanction the Rs. 4,000 crore the programme needs. The refusal comes at a time when the country is facing a malnutrition crisis -- data from the latest National Family Health Survey shows an increase in stunting, in 13 of the 22 States and Union Territories that were covered. As this was 2019 data, experts believe that food insecurity during the pandemic could have worsened, especially with the immense disruption in services such as the mid-day meals, as well as due to economic distress.

Where does India stand on addressing malnutrition? Have government schemes such as the flagship programme to address malnutrition, POSHAN Abhiyaan, worked? What have been the efforts made during the pandemic, and what more needs to be done to address a problem that not only affects children, but has long-lasting consequences upon the health and wellbeing of the nation?

Guest: Dr. Dipa Sinha, assistant professor, School of Liberal Studies, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Delhi

Host: Zubeda Hamid

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