Challenge to nurture India has become bigger with the outbreak of COVID-19 - Ashok Gulati and Shyma Jose

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published Published on Sep 14, 2020   modified Modified on Sep 14, 2020

-The Indian Express

For “POSHAN Maah” to contribute towards the holistic nourishment of children and a malnutrition free India by 2030, the government needs to address the multi-dimensional determinants of malnutrition on an urgent basis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have launched a campaign declaring the month of September as “POSHAN Maah 2020”. By inviting citizens to send nutritional recipes, the campaign aims to create awareness about the POSHAN Abhiyan through community mobilisation. But how far it can help solve India’s massive malnutrition problem remains an open question.

Here we dive deeper into the issue of malnutrition, especially amongst children below the age of five years. We also present some research evidence on its key determinants, and based on that evidence, outline what policy measures could help India overcome this problem of malnutrition by 2030. Incidentally, ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is also the target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-2) of Zero Hunger.

Globally, there were 673 million undernourished people, of which 189.2 million (28 per cent) were in India in 2017-19, as per the combined report of FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (FAO, et.al. 2020) on “The state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World”. Additionally, India accounts for 28 per cent (40.3 million) of the world’s stunted children (low height-for-age) under five years of age, and 43 per cent (20.1 million) of the world’s wasted children (low weight-for-height) in 2019.

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The Indian Express, 14 September, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/poshan-maah-india-malnutrition-index-global-hunger-index-6594794/


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