Malnutrition: the state of Children and Women in India

Malnutrition the state of Children and Women in India

Healthy children equal a healthy tomorrow. However, it is highly disturbing when it comes to thinking of India’s future. It is because of the grave issue of malnutrition that our overall economic growth is at stake.Well, let us first acquaint ourselves with what exactly is “Malnutrition.”

Malnutrition refers to a situation when a person’s diet does not provide sufficient nutrients for growth and maintenance. This terminology includes both undernourishment and over nourishment or we could simply associate the term to be ‘unbalanced nutrition’. However, we limit our study to only undernourishment. It is a common phenomenon among women folk and young children. Their body remains stunted and they become vulnerable to many health disorders. Such people have very low life expectancy or these people suffer miserably, surrounded by a flow of deadly diseases.

So we see that malnutrition is one of the major challenges the Indian economy is facing today. It not only poses a hindrance to economic growth but also limits the country to realize its full potential. It is really sad to know that while on one hand, the economy is growing (India is now a 2 trillion dollar economy) and income levels are rising , on the other hand, the issue of malnutrition among children and women is persistent and is expected to rise in the economy in the future.  With nearly 200 million people undernourished, India is at the top list of the most malnourished economy of the world. But what exactly are the root causes for this phenomenon?

Poverty is one of the major reasons for malnourishment in India. People fall short of enough finances to feed their family and they end up with their growth stunted. One of the key reasons is education and lack of awareness among the women folk. Women ensure the proper nourishment of their children but they themselves lack basic knowledge on feeding up their children which is the gravity of the scenario. Now, let me draw your attention towards another cause-Gender inequality. Yes, gender inequality too leads to malnourishment among women and children. As we all are familiar that our society is patriarchal or male-dominated where women always get a lower status in the society. They are denied basic necessities of health facilities and sanitation which are extremely important as women are carriers of a new generation and play a key role in survival of mankind on earth. But quite unfortunately, women in India do not get the required education skills, so end up being undernourished. This makes them physically incapable to give births to new ones and if they do, their bodies become weaker. They fail to provide proper nutrition to their young ones and so this vicious cycle of persisting malnutrition continues.

Hence, I conclude that there is a grave need for this issue to gain due attention and necessary steps been undertaken for the continued existence of mankind and economic growth in its true sense!

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