More than 33 lakh children are malnourished in the country, Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat are the worst

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‘More than 33 lakh children in the country are malnourished, 17.7 lakh severely malnourished’, the figures given by the government

New Delhi: The Ministry of Women and Child Development, in response to a question under Right to Information (RTI), has said that more than 33 lakh children in the country are malnourished and more than half of them fall in the category of extremely malnourished (SAM). Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat top the states with malnourished children.

Anticipating further escalation of the health and nutritional crisis due to the Kovid epidemic among the poorest of the poor, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has estimated that as on October 14, 2021, 17,76,902 children in the country are severely malnourished and 15 ,46,420 children are undernourished.

The ministry, in response to an RTI application, said that a total of 33,23,322 children were obtained from the data of 34 states and union territories. These data were registered on the POSHAN app, developed last year, to monitor nutrition outcomes.

A ministry official clarified, “Out of 8.19 crore children in the anganwadi system, only 33 lakh are malnourished, which is only 4.04 percent of the total children.” This number is worrying in itself, but compared to November last year. These create more concern.

Between November 2020 and October 14, 2021, there was a 91 percent increase in the number of severely malnourished children. However, there are two types of statistics in this regard, which are based on different methods of data collection.

Last year, the number of severely malnourished children (from six months to six years) was counted by 36 states and union territories and reported to the Centre. The latest data is taken from the nutrition tracker app, where the data is directly entered by the Anganwadis and received by the centre.

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