22 September, 2020

In Small Bites

A delayed fight against killer malnutrition

Atul Loke
In Small Bites

A Four-Course Meal

  • Annual health survey to check nutritional status
  • Phased financial incentives for pregnant, young mothers
  • Reward to health worker for better monitoring of mother/child
  • Pilot scheme for empowering 16-18 age group girls


Only a couple of years back, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called persisting high levels of malnutrition amongst young Indians a “national shame”. Alas, despite that admission from the summit of governance, ground-level inaction and an ill-coordinated approach dog every step of this challenge. That the PM’s council on nutrition is slated to hold its first meeting in November—two years after it was set up—is a telling indicator.

The rush to meet is perhaps driven by two recent reports—by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Save the Children—that reiterate India’s abysmal 22 per cent malnutrition...



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