Million mouths unfed – MALNUTRITION

By Ruchi Malviya

The next time when you throw your half eaten burger into the dustbin, think twice about that child who could survive for 10 more days after eating that leftover. For the knowledge of this selfish generation, 46% of Indian children under the age of 5 are still underweight. 28% of Indian infants have a low birth rate and only 57% of men and 52% of women in India are healthy with a proportioned health and height according to the government data.

Malnutrition is the biggest and the worst problem in this country. More than 6 million children are suffering from the worst form of malnutrition. Millions of children are dying at an alarming rate because of under nutrition. This inadequate nutrition leads to various form of deadly disease and weakens the immune system of children. There are various causes to malnutrition like inability of poor people to provide food to their child, pregnant women who are anaemic, poor health and sanitation facilities and most importantly the failure of government to curb this problem.

The government has come up with numerous welfare schemes for the malnutrition people like the Public distribution system (PDS), Integrated Childhood Development Service (ICDS) which only exists on paper but they are almost paralyzed in reality. The Indian government is spending millions on reforming these schemes and plans but no results are seen which tells us where the entire amount is going.

And then we would say that if the government itself is corrupt then what can we do. We would not even think for once while spending 90 bugs on a cup of coffee but we think twice before giving 1 Rupee to a beggar. We have chosen to ignore such people and then we would become a part of this enormous seminar or conference that talks about these issues but the moment we are back to our luxurious home we would forget about it. The upper middle class section of this society has become very ignorant and selfish today. We want highly protein rich food in our diet; we would go to exotic gymnasium to burn calories, we would buy Reebok shoes that will tone our butts but what about these malnutrition children, whose bodies are decaying every minute. Their bodies weigh less than 10 grams sometimes. There is no flesh on their body only bones protrude out.

It may be shocking to know that one-third of the children from the wealthier families of Indian population suffer from malnutrition because of the poor feeding practices like not breastfeeding the child in the first 6 months. This shows that today the rich people are only concerned with their lifestyle and particularly just wants to show-off.

It’s not about doing something big or contributing at large scale but little measures could help like giving fresh food or leftover to poor people or child, providing basic medical help etc. It will be our small step that will make a lot of difference.

It’s high time that we should realise this immense problem of our country and take upon the onus of contributing in whatever little way we could. It may be nothing to us but surely it could save life of a child who is innocent and will get a chance to experience a life that he deserves to live to the fullest.

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