An alarming study by Mumbai based think-tank has found that 40 to 70 per cent of slum kids in the maximum city under the age of 5 barely get minimum nourishment and almost 50 per cent of them are stunted as a result. These are startling figures from a survey carried out by the Observer Research Foundation and MB Barvalia Foundation on 300 slum children in the maximum city.
“The findings are indeed very startling. It is generally perceived that malnutrition is a rural problem, but our study shows how it is an urban issue in Mumbai slums,” said Sudheendra Kulkarni, the Chairman of ORF Mumbai.
This is not just a Mumbai phenomenon, a landmark study done by UNICEF and published in the medical journal Lancet in 2012 found that one-third of the world’s chronically malnourished children are in India.
Mohandas Pai, Co-Founder/Member, Board of Trustees, Akshaya Patra, said, “There is an utter lack of sanitation. It’s high time the government takes strict action about it.”
Medical evidence links chronic malnutrition to low cognitive development and premature death later in life because vital organs never fully develop. There is no doubt that the Indian government needs to take immediate steps to protect children across the country against the menace of malnutrition and poor sanitation.