Malnutrition in India has become a situation that haunts the lives of millions of children. Among the 472 million children (2011 census), a whopping 97 million are anaemic and undernourished. For children five years or younger, close to 40% (actually 38.7%) are stunted (below normal height for the age), 19.8% are wasted (underweight and short) and 42.4% are underweight. The data-set revealed by the latest NFHS-4, states that nine out of the 11 states surveyed have not been able to reduce the rate of Infant Mortality even by 2 points annually. And that, 40 out of 1000 infants don’t get to celebrate their first birthday.
India is home to the highest number of malnourished children in the world – 1 in every 3 children are malnourished. As per the most recent available data, roughly 40% of children under five are stunted and 21% of children under five are severely wasted or undernourished.
The situation in India is extremely critical. Malnourishment is irreversible when found at a young age leading to permanent disabilities that render children ill for the rest of their lives. National Nutrition Week 2018: Status of Malnutrition Updated: Sep 3, 2018 06:07
A child’s foundation is critical for the overall development of a human being. In fact, 90% development of the brain occurs within 5-6 years of age. Thus, to ensure a right start to life, early childhood care and learning is exceedingly important.
Here are a few more statistics and information on the present situation:
19.8 million children below age 6 in India are undernourished (ICDS 2015)
Only 9.6% of children between 6-23 months in the country receive an adequate diet (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
38% (1 in 3 )of children between 0-5 years are stunted in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
21% (1 in 5) of the children in the country suffer from wasting (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
36% of children under 5 years of age are underweight in India (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
58% of children between 6months – 5 years were found to be anaemic in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
Total Immunisation coverage in the country stood at 62% in 2015-16 (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
21% of the births in the country were home births (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
Only 21% of mothers (1 in 5) received full antenatal care in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
More than 50% of the pregnant women aged 15-49 years were found to be anaemic (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
At Anchal Charitable Trust these issues are of serious concern and, compels us to work at the grassroots level with its partner organisations to ensure that every individual understands the importance of malnutrition and its role in child development and help introduce positive change.