Namana V T Mangalore India
Fight against poverty and malnutrition during pandemic
India has footprinted its name and fame in most of the field globally from handling the terror attacks , maintaining the good relationship with the neighbouring countries and other countries also , to legally safegaurding the rights of a citizen and mostly it is the socially and economically weaker sections . More importantly ,while focusing on the poor sections of the society , malnutrition and poverty have taken their seats at the peak. Malnutrition is a condition where children below 5 years of age remain undernourished leading to the child stunting and child wasting which inturn are the causes of the child mortality . Malnutrition affects the chances of survival for children , increases their susceptibility to illness , reduces their ability to learn and thereby makes them less productive in their later life . It is estimated that malnutrition is a contributing factor in about one-third of all the deaths of children In the recent past in september 2019 , 'RASHTRIYA POSHAN MAAH' was observed that urged people to support the governmental nutrition campaign to ensure a healthier future for women and children . There is a target set named 'ZERO HUNGER' to ensure that the world acheives 'zero hunger by 2030'-one of the substantial goals laid out by the United Nations.Although acheiving zero hunger requires not only addressing the hunger but also the associated aspect of Malnutrition i,e,food and nutrition.
This is the time , where whole world is facing the threat and thus struggling for their survival.The change in food patterns , poverty , lack of sanitation and clean drinking water , migration , gender injustice , lacunae at policy level , lax implementation are some of the factors for malnutrition. FAO estimates that 194.4 million people in India are undernourished(14.5% of the total population).India ranks 102 out of 117 countries in the global hunger Index 2019. According to ICMR(Indian Council of Medical Research) malnutrition is the major risk factor for the death in children. Globally , a furthur 6000 under- five children could die each day due to reductions in the routine health coverage during pandemic , the UNICEF has warned in early may , adding that this would be accompanied by the child wasting which is the strong predictor of the child mortality. With lack of food during lockdown the malnutrition rate is going to increase and ultimately childern would be more vulnerable to COVID-19 leading to the high mortality rate in the country . The centres setup by the Integrated Child Development services ,the government programme that provides food , pre- school education , primary health care , immunization to children under 6 years and their mothers. There is provison for 'One Nation one Ration card'technology where the card holder can buy the subsidised food grains from anywhere in India which is actually a good intiative taken up by the centre . The 'ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT' has funded Rs.1.70 lakh crores for the poor to help them fight the battle against COVID-19 which may help them upto certain level to overcome the present worst scenario.
There are certain governmental schemes like NHM,mid-day meal scheme ,Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahayog Yojana , National Nutritional Policy 1993 which can have the multisectoral appraoch towards reducing and gradually eliminate/abridge the malnutrition . Administration should look after the improvements which includes clean and safe drinking water , proper sanitation , reduces the rate of open defecation , improving the women's status and the agricultural productivity , prioritizing the girld child's health becomes necessary , as and when she attains the adolescence and get married and have kids even they will get affected according to the health status of the mother. Hence she should be taken more care such that she should not have been getting affected by malnutrition. In addition to all these provisons , decentralization of powers is necessary where the panchayats should be given the power to have a say in welfare schemes and diversification where Public Distribution System should be diversified to include the millets. Whatever the schemes /and provisons given by the center/and state should reach the doorsteps of the poor/needy ones and the transperancy in the public administartion and through the enactments of RTI , the weaker sections of the society should know their rights and claim for the same in case they have not been met .