'Grim State' Of Affairs: Every 4th Kid In MP Underweight As Parents Prefer Chips Over Apple

'Grim State' Of Affairs: Every 4th Kid In MP Underweight As Parents Prefer Chips Over Apple

With 24% underweight kids, Madhya Pradesh is second after Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Raginee ChaureyUpdated: Thursday, July 11, 2024, 01:31 PM IST
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'Grim State' Of Affairs: Every 4th Kid In MP Underweight As Parents Prefer Chips Over Apple |

Indore (Madhya Prdaesh): With every fourth child being underweight, it seems that Bharat Nutrition campaign under 'Khayega India' initiative is out of sync with ground realities in the state.

Union ministry of women and child development's (WCD) monthly report clearly states that 24% of MP kids have low body mass index. Only Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Daman and Diu) has higher percentage of underweight children at 31% than MP.

Ministry's Poshan Tracker Dashboard of May 2024 shows that Bihar and Lakshadweep have 23% and Gujarat 21% under-nourished children. The data clearly shows that the nation has to cover several miles before achieving 'Free from malnutrition' status.

The national level data paints a grim picture with 36% children falling under stunted category and another 17% being underweight. Compounding the worries 6% are under wasting (severe underweight kids who cannot be cured within six months) and 7% overweight.

WCD joint director Akshay Srivastava said, 'The situation in the state is sensitive. We are taking active steps to curb malnutrition. However, if we look at the broader perspective it is a multifactorial approach and we are streamlining all stakeholders to improve the situation at the earliest.'

Project officers struggle to maintain and regulate children's diet. Child development project officer Meenakshi Harvansh said, 'The department regularly provides poshan packets and nutritional diet. However, we have no control over the diet they consume afterwards. We always advise parents to buy them an apple rather than chips.'

Officials on toes

After Free Press reached out to officials concerned regarding the grim situation, they immediately held a meeting with district WCD officials and directed them to ensure proper data feeding in Poshan Tracker app. They were also asked to pull up their socks to take the state out of the dark spot.

Underweight Children

State Total Underweight (%)

Dadra and Nagar Haveli 31,269 31 (Daman and Diu)

Madhya Pradesh 66,44,529 24

Bihar 85,64,304 23

Lakshadweep 4,202 23

Gujarat 32,65,967 21

Major MP cities

City Total Underweight (%)

Indore 1,75,496 20

Bhopal 1,66,361 17

Jabalpur 1,70,202 22

Ujjain 1,70,202 23

Gwalior 1,51,995 25

Caption: The data has been taken from the Poshan Tracker Dashboard by Ministry of Women and Child Development Department

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