Concern for nutritional entitlements in India

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Author: 
Dr. Anup Kumar Mishra
Abstract: 

Malnutrition has been one of the enduring enigmas of contemporary India. Despite years of rapid economic growth, child malnutrition rates remained unchanged for years. After years of stasis, there seems to be some sign of progress in India’s battle against malnutrition, although malnutrition rates remain high. While poverty is not the only cause of malnutrition, it is an important cause, not just because poor people may lack adequate food but also because the poor often have less time and resources to care for their children. The right of every individual to have sufficient food to preserve him from hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition is recognised, but is nevertheless far from being satisfied. Hunger and undernourishment assail large sections of the population in India. This persistence a number of problems. Women's nutrition affects a wide range of health and social issues, including economic development, poverty reduction, work-capacity, physical and mental development, pregnancy outcomes, family care, and household food security. Undernutrition is generally caused by inadequate diet and chronic infection, and is attributable to inseparable direct, indirect and basic causes. Direct causes of undernutrition include productivity loss by physical weakness and illness due to inadequate dietary intake. Indirect consequences are insufficient household food security, physical and cognitive stunting, compromised schooling, and increased healthcare cost or inadequate health care services. Human, financial and technical resources are the potential basic causes in development of undernutrition. With this background the present paper highlights the problems of food security and concern for nutritional entitlements in the Indian context. The present paper suggests that we must attack on the basic, underlying and immediate causes of malnutrition. We have to address the potential resources, economic structure, political and ideological superstructure of the society for the betterment of nutrition position. Last but not the least; we should surely ensure the education for women as it enhances women’s status and power, which in turn leads to improved self and child nourishment.

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