10th Sep 2019 10:09:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Despite a steady climb-up in the economic ladder since seven decades of gaining independence which has placed the nation in a respectable world position, there do exist many disturbing points which doesn’t actually go in harmony with the image of a prosperous nation dreaming to become a 5 trillion dollar economy within a few years from now. Prevalence of malnutrition among the poorest segment which also happens to be the two-fifths of the country’s population is one such and it has remained so in spite of declining levels of poverty, surplus food production and rolling out of various government programmes over decades. The latest of one such is the Poshan Abhiyaan which is a multi- ministerial convergence mission with the vision to improve nutritional status of children up to 6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers with a targeted approach by 2022. The on-going Rashtriya Poshan Maah comes as a part of this central flagship programme and Arunachal is also participating in the process. Since the scourge of malnutrition has been a reality for long and almost become a ‘used-to’ component in the Indian way of existence, addition of a targeted schedule for its end has raised hopes that this time something worthwhile might happen.

Going by medical parameters, malnutrition is always worrisome as it actually triggers a lethal cycle which puts children at a greater risk of dying from common infections, which otherwise might have been prevented with ease. In Indian context, the current picture is gloomy although there had been some gains as per ‘Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019 Report’ authored jointly by GoI and United Nations World Food Programme. According to it, percentage of children with chronic malnutrition has seen a decrease from 48 in 2005-06 to 38.4 in 2015-16, that of underweight children from 42.5 to 35.7 over the same period and for anaemia from 69.5 to 58.5, also in this period. But according to experts, this progress is far from substantial for a country with an already huge population that is also growing by leaps and bounds and it’s really perturbing since the dual affliction of hunger & malnutrition amongst children is not limited to a few pockets, but exist in large swathes of the nation.

Whether Poshan Abhiyaan will reach its objective within 2022 is a debatable issue. But since it’s going to be challenging, a replication of efforts as seen in the successful polio fight will be much desirable. And given its multi-level synergic mode of functioning at grassroots level, each and every stakeholder, right from Anganwadi workers, social organizations, government departments and so on must play their respective roles with extra zeal. It can only be then, the seemingly daunting task might be worked out.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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