Here is a shocking statistic from the NFHS4 (National Family Health Survey) –
“Only 11.6% children (breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding) of 6-23 months of age receive an adequate diet.”
“The combination of high stunting, wasting and poor IYCF (Infant and young child feeding) stem from multiple deprivations and chronic malnutrition continues to be the dominant epidemiological concern”
Let’s rephrase the first sentence to say the truth plainly –
“India is a country where about 90 percent of the children under the age of 2 do not receive proper food or nourishment.” Jai Hind. Mera Bharat Mahaan. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
Shameful! Chulloo bhar paani mein doob maro. That’s for the people whose chest swells with pride when we speak of our country.
For the others, there is no shame. It is sadness. It is helplessness. It’s a desire to set it right. And a sense of urgency to act.
Where are we going wrong? Why are we allowing this mammoth tragedy to continue? What needs to be done to solve this?
Conditions like stunting, if not checked and reversed by the time the child is about 2 years old, tend to be a lifelong, irreversible problem.
Why are we condemning an entire future generation this way? Where are our priorities? Why is not 20 percent of the union budget (and not less than 1%) allocated to child and maternal health? Is this not the single biggest issue that faces us?
Read more here – and cry – https://indianpediatrics.net/aug2018/653.pdf
An amazing statistic from Dr Malhotra in this article –
48 percent of all pregnancies in India are “unintended” pregnancies.
I also find the use of the word “unintended” fascinating. Is it the same as “unplanned”? I think not. Is it the same as “unwanted”? Again I think not.
There is published information elsewhere that half of the children in India are victims of sexual abuse.
If I correlate these two statistics, I assume it follows that a significant percentage of the unintended pregnancies are a result of sexual abuse outside of wedlock. And a very large number of the mothers are children/teenagers.
This lends a lot of gravity to Dr Jaideep Malhotra’s views. The abortion law must be changed as she says.
20 weeks is too short a time and does not deliver justice to these young victims who should not be and do not want to be mothers. This is not just an issue of justice or gender justice. This is also about child rights.
Referenced articles –
One in two children in india are victims of sexual abuse
A Law Past Its Sell-by Date
Here is a very interesting thing I read in this article I refer to in this post – “The body’s metabolism adapts to low nutrition in early life, and later, a high carbohydrate diet gives rise to higher fat deposition especially in the abdomen”
I am inclined to agree.
I do not believe that the South Asian male is genetically predisposed to abdominal fat accumulation or that he is genetically predisposed to heart disease or that he is predisposed to it’s key risk factors.
The poor nutritional status of mothers in South Asia, the poor nutritional status of children under the age of five, the carbohydrate heavy and protein poor adult diets, the widespread micronutrient deficiencies. Each of these and more are the major contributors to high rates of abdominal obesity, visceral fat, heart disease and diabetes in India.
Let’s not blame poor genetics. Let’s also not start hunting for a “new normal” and use the existing poor health indicators to establish a lower “South Asian” baseline.
Our children will grow to be just as healthy, fit, strong, tall and athletic as their Caucasian counterparts. If their mothers were healthy and so they had good birth weight, if they had adequate and diverse nutrition in early childhood and ate a nutrient rich and balanced diet as teenagers and adults.
Here is the link to the article. Some of which I agree with and much that I do not – https://www.theweek.in/health/cover/2018/08/11/diet-and-the-indian-heart.html