Skip to main content

Food security: Names of 81% of undernourished children "missing" from ration cards in progressive Gujarat

Counterview Desk
In severest-ever indictment of the the implementation of the right to food dictum in “progressive Gujarat”, a new survey, carried out by the Anna Suraksha Abhikar Abhiyaan (ASAA), a consortium of 18 NGOs focused on right to food, has found that over 81% of severely undernourished and 73.5% of moderately undernourished children of Gujarat do not have their names on their families’ ration cards. “This failure results in both the family and the child being unable to avail of their full entitlements of grain”, a report, based on the survey, whose results were released in Ahmedabad, said. In all, as many as 2,230 children were surveyed across the state.
The survey was carried out in as many as 20 districts, including seven high priority talukas (HPTs), identified by the Government of Gujarat as those which are most vulnerable in terms of nutrition, three urban slums identified by partner organizations as being food insecure, as well as several villages in non-HPTs, that are home to seasonal migrant communities and de-notified tribes. The survey results suggest that in contrast to state data claiming drastic reduction of malnutrition over the last decade to 27%, the rate of child malnutrition in Gujarat is 43.9%.
Pointing out that amongst tribal children the malnutrition rate is 55% (25% severely malnourished and 30% moderately malnourished), the survey, carried out between January 1 and January 17, 2014, finds that among SC children, the rate of severe undernourishment is 19%, and the overall undernourishment is 46%. As for OBC children, severe undernourishment rate is 18% percent and overall undernourishment is 48%. As against this, 9% of general category children are severely undernourished, and overall malnutrition rate is 24%.
The report, “Extent of Malnutrition among Women and Children in Gujarat and Access to Food and Cash Entitlements provisioned in the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013”, prepared on the basis of the survey, says, “Among newborn children, 0 to 6 months, 15.8% were found to be severely malnourished, implying severe undernourishment of the mother as well and ensuring problems in the future growth and development of the child. Additionally, 20% of children ages 6 months to 3 years, and 18.9% of children ages 3 to 5 years, were found to be severely malnourished, soaring above state claims.”
The report says, “An essential factor of addressing such rates of malnutrition lay in the successful identification and monitoring of at-risk and malnourished children using the Mamata card, a booklet where growth monitoring entries can be tracked, and risks can be identified by the local anganwadi. The report says that “over 35% of severely undernourished children, and 42% of moderately undernourished children, do not have Mamata card.” It calls it a “government failure to monitor as a contributing factor to the persistence of malnutrition.”
The report further says, there were “significant discrepancies” between malnourishment data provided by local anganwadi centres, and the rates of malnutrition identified by field workers using the same measuring devices. “When looking collectively at the rates of severely and moderately undernourished children, the difference between anganwadi data and study data amounts to 7.7%, providing evidence of the failure to properly identify at-risk and malnourished children within anganwadi centres, and devastating effects for the unidentified child”, it adds.
The report regrets, “68.1% of mothers with a severely malnourished child did not know that their child was malnourished, and 80.3% of mothers with a moderately malnourished child were unaware as well.” It adds, “While appropriate monitoring and identification of malnourished children is critical, such process is a futile gesture if it is not followed by targeted services and support. 84.3% of severely undernourished children, and 85.2% of moderately undernourished children did not receive a referral for nutritional counseling or targeted services by the angandwadi centre, implying both the failure to monitor and identify malnourished children, as well as the failure to follow up.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?