Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
A ‘Citizen’s Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition’ (HANGaMA) report released tuesday by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has made him say of “shame” as its documented survey puts on records that 43 per cent of the children below the age of five in the India of his regime are malnourished.
The data and analysis forming crux of the report are not here to be commented upon.
But, as the report has yet again exposed India’s failure to save children from malnutrition, we are sure, the suckers responsible for this wretchedness will try their tricks to give it a meretricious treat.
The acrobats of globalization may play their games on it as they like, because idiots are also available in plenty in this country to clap their hands in approval.
To us the report makes recall the way UNICEF has also seen the children below the age of three in India.
“Malnutrition is more common in India than in Sub-Saharan Africa”, the UNICEF has observed while saying, “One in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India”.
Maintaing that “malnutrition limits development and the capacity to learn” it said, “it also costs lives: about 50 per cent of all childhood deaths are attributed to malnutrition”.
“In India”, it said, “around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. Many of these children are severely malnourished”.
But, for a Manmohan Singh whose government has told the Supreme Court that a rural family’s income of Rs.25 or an urban family’s Rs.32 per day is enough to ensure a living with necessary nutrition, does the HUNGaMA report carry any meaning?
Children suffer malnutrition, because their parents or guardians are not able to keep them nourished.
Juxtaposing the HUNGaMA report with this reality any genuine Indian may feel ashamed of his reflection on the mirror of time. But, where is shame that we may use for being ashamed of, when we have no qualms in tolerating the right viruses that have destroyed the dreams of our freedom fighters and dragged the country to this sorry state by sabotaging from behind the people and the Parliament our national resolve for a country of equals?