Hungry on Children's Day

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
Hungry on Children's Day
Raup village:  On Children's Day, India faces a grim fact that despite having 60 years of democracy and a high growth rate, almost half of the children under six years are malnourished.

The rate of childhood malnutrition in India is twice that of sub-Saharan Africa.

In Naxalite-infested Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, a memorial has been erected to remember those 18 children who died of malnutrition five years ago.

This in a district, which is fertile and produces tonnes of coal, limestone and dolomite.

The children belonged to the acutely poor Ghasia tribal community in Raup village who are victims of internal displacement. But the administration seems reluctant to settle them.

Memorial or no memorial, the children have been forgotten.

Lekha is a single mother. Her four-year-old son Vishal looks like a two-year-old.

"Whatever I get by doing daily labour I spend on food for him. Sometimes I give him pulses and rice. But it's not sufficient. I do whatever is within my capacity," she said.

In Varanasi city, another child, Sania, battles for life at a private nursing home. At 2.3 kg, she is less than half the normal weight of a six-month-old. The doctor says he sees many babies like her.

"On days we had money, we would buy milk for Rs 2 or Rs 3. We would mix the milk with water and feed her during the day. At other times, we gave her Parle biscuits cooked in water. When even that was not possible, we would give her a solution of sugar and water," said Rehana Khatoon, Sania's mother.

Malnourished and anaemic mothers like Rehana raise the risk of low birth weight. But the family has been unable to get her medical attention. Each member of the family lives on about Rs 10 a day. When the weaving industry collapsed, Sania's father lost his livelihood. He now works as a rickshaw puller.

Sania has been saved, but only just. Clearly, the Centre's and state government's welfare schemes are failing to reach poor and marginalised communities.


Share this story on

 Share
ALSO READKaala First Look: Rajinikanth's Gangster-Like Swag Is Off The Charts

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................