Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog 2: Social inequality the real culprit in India’s ‘shameful’ malnutrition problem

       In an article posted on "The Globe and Mail", Stephanie Nolen writes about how the real culprit to India's malnutrition problem is social inequality. Even though India's economy has grown by nearly 10%, the child's malnutrition rates remain remotely the same, maybe declined by like 2% if that.  In a survey taken, 2.3 per cent of children under the age of five are underweight for their age, 58.8 per cent are stunted and 11.4 per cent are so severely underfed as to be considered “wasted.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one person who has not ignored this issue and calls the numbers "shameful". Almost ever village that was surveyed had a community centre that is supposed to distribute dry food rations to unfed children, but many of those centres aren't receiving the food and supplies they are supposed to get.  Social inequality particularly between men and women seems to be the culprit not poverty.  Many more poorer countries in Africa have better nourished children because the women there have more autonomy when it comes to thing such as personal mobility, work, and household spending do their children eat better.  Education is another connection, close to half of children of illiterate mothers are malnourished, where as a third are with mothers with 10 or more years of education.
        Reading this article makes me sad. Knowing that India's economy is growing but so many children are still dying from starvation.  Its odd to think that social inequality can play such a big role in something like this, but i can somewhat see how.  If women had more say or more free will then their children would probably get feed better. It isn't just that though.  As it said in the article, most of the villages they surveyed had centres that are supposed to provide food for these unfed children, but because they aren't being supplied like they are supposed to be then the children aren't getting food.  So that becomes a government problem.  But I am glad to see that there is some high power, a prime minister, that seems to be concerned and hopefully will be able to change those numbers in the next few years.

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