Day 22 – Q 2.Despite rapid economic growth, hunger and malnutrition remain a challenge in many districts of India. Why? Analyse.
2. Despite rapid economic growth, hunger and malnutrition remain a challenge in many districts of India. Why? Analyse.
तेजी से आर्थिक विकास के बावजूद, भारत के कई जिलों में भूख और कुपोषण एक चुनौती है। क्यों? विश्लेषण करें।
Post economic reforms of 1991, India achieved higher economic growth reaching close to double digits and even today, is fastest growing economy. However, economic growth has not resulted in elimination of hunger and malnutrition.
Today, Hunger and Malnutrition remains as a challenge in India which is reflected by
- India’s poor ranking in Global Hunger Index 100/119.
- Malnutrition rate of 38.4% among children below 5 years (NFHS-4).
- In India 44% children underweight, 52% women are anaemic.
There are many reasons such as
- Growth did not eliminate poverty. Still 23% of population are poor according to WB report who face difficulty in meeting their food requirements.
- Lower status of women in society: As a child, as a pregnant woman her nutritional requirements are ignored.
- Skewed pattern of food consumption mainly tilted towards cereals.
- Modern lifestyles-urbanisation: lack of physical activities leading to problems like obesity.
- Poor governance: inefficiency in the implementation of schemes like PDS, ICDS. While their number of schemes implemented by Ministry of women and child development, ministry of health and family welfare, lack of synchronised efforts is resulting into poor results.
Measures needed to address the issue:
- Integration of nutrition related intervention across sectors like women and child development, health, food and public distribution, sanitation, drinking water, rural development.
- Focus on most vulnerable communities in districts with higher levels of malnutrition. Ex: Districts in Uttar Pradesh like Bahraich, Shrawasti have highest rates of stunting.
- Need for more research in improving efficiency of PDS system. Ex: food fortification.
- Gender sensitization and gender approach to food and nutritional security. Priority should be on meeting needs of adolescents, pregnant women. Creating better awareness about need for better nutrition and its effects on child.
- Focus on sanitation through government initiatives like swachh bharat mission.
Though hunger and malnutrition levels have come down recently, they are still very high. India has to continue its fight to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition (SDG 2) to realize its true economic potential and development by having healthy citizens.
Best answer: silent voice