Skip to main content

At 55%, "developed" Gujarat has more anemic women than national average; situation worse among children

By Rajiv Shah
A new Government of India interactive atlas has revealed that Gujarat’s 54.9% of women in the age group 14-49 are anemic as against the national average of 53%. Out of 21 major Indian states, the data show, 14 states have a lower percentage of anemic women than that of Gujarat.
The seven states where the percentage of women is more anemic than Gujarat are: Jharkhand 65.2%, West Bengal 63.2%, Haryana 62.7%, Bihar 60.3%, Andhra Pradesh 60%, Telangana 56.7%, and Tamil Nadu 55.1%. All data are for 2015-16.
Things are no better with pregnant women. The atlas shows that Gujarat’s 51.3% pregnant women are anemic, as against the national average of 50.3 per cent, with as many as 15 major states out of 21 having lesser percentage of anemic pregnant women.
The six states with a higher percentage of anemic pregnant women are – Jharkhand 62.6%, followed by Bihar 58.3%, Haryana 55%, West Bengal 53.6%, and Andhra Pradesh 52.9%.
The atlas reveals a major gender gap, too, with just about 21.7% of men found to be anemic. This is against the national average of 22.7%.
It also shows rural-urban divide, with 57.7% rural women as against 51.6% urban women anemic in Gujarat. Things are no different for men: Here, 25% rural men and 17.8% urban men are found to be anemic.
The further atlas finds the least percentage of anemic women is in Kerala, 34.2%. Interestingly, Kerala has a still lower percentage of anemic pregnant women, 22.6%, lower than any other major state of India. 
A higher percentage of anemic pregnant women would have its consequences on infants. The atlas shows that 62.6% of children in the age group 6 to 59 months are anemic in Gujarat, which is worse than all major 21 states but five – Haryana 71.1%, Jharkhand 69.9%, Madhya Pradesh 68.9%, Bihar 63.5%, and Uttar Pradesh 63.3%.
Based on official data, the atlas has been developed by the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). It is claimed to be India’s first online nutrition atlas. NIN operates under the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Among the sources it has banked upon are data from the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau, the National Family Health Survey, the World Health Organisation and other public databases. It provides not just state-wise but also district-wise data.
Notably, the all-tribal district of Dangs in Gujarat has the highest percentage of anemic women, 72.3%, while Surat, perhaps the most urban district of Gujarat, has the least percentage of anemic women, 39%.
Interestingly, however, the all-tribal district of Dahod has 56.3% of anemic women, considerably lower Gandhinagar district (which as the state capital) 65.8%, and Ahmedabad district, the state’s commercial capital, 62.9%.
As for children in the age group 6 to 59 months, while the highest percentage of anemic children are found to be in Kutch district (81.4%), the state capital Gandhinagar with 73.7% and the commercial capital Ahmedabad with 76% are found to be not far behind.
Calling nutrition as “one of the key determinants of development”, the introduction says, the idea of the online atlas is to help India’s policy makers, programme managers, researchers and other stakeholders, who “need” information/data on nutritional status of population groups at country level and at regional/state levels.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
V informative piece from a journaist of high credibility.
alka singh said…
It is very sad about our country. It is not about poverty but women carelessness and ignorance about themselves.from many well to do families also rather than having balanced and nutritious food junk food is a main part of their diet.awareness programme should be run at a large scale for the families.

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Why am I exhorting citizens for a satyagrah to force ECI to 'at least rethink' on EVM

By Sandeep Pandey*   As election fever rises and political parties get busy with campaigning, one issue which refuses to die even after elections have been declared is that of Electronic Voting Machine and the accompanying Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.