19 June, 2021

Put A Face To Statistics, And It's The Face Of Death

Put A Face To Statistics, And It's The Face Of Death

THE killer that stalked Melghat and put it on the malnutrition map of the country is alive and kicking. In the feeble protests of two-year-old Amul Ramsu Jambekar, only son, and one among four children. With a low-grade fever for the past few months. And the threat of a young life ebbing away. Amul is but one among the faceless statistics that pile up in village registers in the talukas of Dharni and Chikaldhara in Maharashtra's Amravati district. An oasis of deprivation.

Where classifying the various types of malnutrition is a full-time job. At the bottom of the heap is 15-month-old Sandeep Sunderlal Javarkar of Titamba village, Dharni taluka. Helpless, the child's grandmother says, "The child does not get enough milk. To earn Rs 25 a day, his mother leaves home early to work in other people's fields and returns very late." All of 4 kg, he is a grade IV child—the malnutrition may at any point turn fatal. At last count, i.e. from April-August 1998, 0.6 per cent of all children in the region belonged to this category.

The story...

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