According to the data provided by World Bank, India has the world’s highest demographics of children suffering from malnutrition. Malnutrition can be defined as the lack of nutrition caused by not having enough to eat or not eating enough of the right things. Although severe developments have been made to fight malnutrition, the rate of progress has been quite uneven and malnutrition among children continues to remain one of the major social issues that our country has been facing. While urban India faces a challenge of overnutrition and India has been ranked as the third most obese nation, about 37% of the children under 5 years of age are underweight. Children in rural areas suffer from malnutrition more than children living in the urban areas.
Lack of proper nutrients could hamper the proper growth of children and make them susceptible to various diseases. Malnutrition among children in our country is a result of many factors. Have a look at the following points to get a brief idea about the causes of malnutrition.
- Poverty-Poverty is one of the major reasons for malnutrition among the children of India. Due to their low income, the poverty-stricken people cannot afford to buy the desired quality and quantity of food for their families. This causes lack of nutrition among their children.
- Illiteracy-Poverty and Illiteracy are like two sides of the same coin. Many times illiterate parents are unaware of the proper dietary requirements for their children. This results in malnutrition among children.
- Poor Housing and Sanitation Facilities-The underprivileged section of our society are unaware of maintaining proper health and hygiene at home. They stay in unhygienic surroundings and also don’t maintain healthy sanitation facilities. Such unhealthy living conditions among the poor causes malnutrition among their children and affect their health conditions adversely.
- Inadequate Maternal Care-One of the primary causes of malnutrition among children in India is impoverished pregnant mothers who are unable to provide suitable nutrition to their children, as they themselves are malnourished.
Malnutrition is one of the major problems that our country has been facing. Malnutrition and the problems related to it must be understood in details in order to overcome it. There are various ways by which we can fight the problem. The following points will give you a brief idea about the ways one can overcome malnutrition.
- Educating Mothers-One of the most effective solution to the problem is educating mothers about the importance of a proper nutritional diet among children. They must be made aware of the harmful effects of malnutrition. This will not only help the mothers understand the importance of providing a healthy diet to their child but will also make them aware of the facilities and steps undertaken by the government to overcome malnutrition among children.
- Role of NGO’s-The various NGO’s are playing a huge role in fighting malnutrition among children. The NGO’s have been working extremely hard to eradicate this problem by devising and executing projects aimed at improving the nutritional status of the underprivileged children.
- Making people aware of the importance of maintaining hygiene-Another very important way by which one can overcome malnutrition is by educating the poor people about the importance of maintaining proper hygienic surroundings. They must also be made aware of the various benefits of using clean toilets. Various initiatives must be taken to educate them about the ways they can maintain health and hygiene at home. This will illuminate the various diseases caused by lack of sanitation among the underprivileged.
- Providing sufficient treatment facilities- A child suffering from malnutrition requires immediate medical treatment but there are a lot of people in our society who cannot afford proper medical treatment. Various NGO’s must take initiatives to provide free of cost medical facilities to the poor. Medical camps must be organized from time to time to provide medical treatment to the less privileged section of our society. It must be made sure that the children suffering from malnutrition receive proper medical treatment.
It is true that malnutrition is one of the most crucial problems that our country is facing but if proper initiatives are taken by the government, various NGO’s and the people of our society, it can be overcome.