India has maximum number of malnourished children and the situation is very critical in India. Malnutrition damages the lives of millions of children. Childhood malnutrition has reached to very high proportions in India.
Madhya Pradesh, second-largest state in the country, has over 8 crore of population but when it comes to health, major developments are needed. According to the health index report released by Niti Ayog in 2018, M.P. was ranked at 18 out of 21 large states.
Malnutrition was brought under spotlight in the state during the 2008 elections, as the rates kept on increasing at a higher pace.
- The cases of children under 5 years who are underweight has dropped to 42.8% in NFHS IV(2015-16), from 60% in NFHS III(2005-06). Madhya Pradesh has underperformed as compared to other states of the country as cases of underweight children in the state was 35.8% in 2015-16.
- The state had 42% cases of stunting(preventing from growing properly) according to the NFHS IV whereas this figure stood at 50% in NFHS 3, 2005-06. This is higher than the stunting rate at all India level.
- The National Family Health Survey IV, 2016 stated that there are more than 45 lakh underweight and stunted children in the state.
Poverty and Hunger are the biggest challenges not only for the survival of the people but also for the development. Poverty not only puts restrictions on development, but it also eliminates the basic facilities from the lives of children and families. Many children cannot attend schools, wear good clothes and consume good food merely because they are unable to afford the basics.
- In 1993-94, there were 44.6 % people living at below the poverty line and as per the MDG(Millennium Development Goals) target, it had to go down at the level of 22.3% by 2015, but according to the poverty estimates suggested by Prof. Suresh Tendulkar Committee, poverty in the state has increased by 4% and gone up to 48.6%.
- The poverty ratio in the state stands around 33% as against 21% nationally.
- The Global Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index 2018 has ranked MP the fourth poorest in the country, with Alirajpur the poorest district in India.
Steps taken by VSWS to help in the present scenario:
- VSWS conducts camps like free dental check-ups and polio camps for children, for maintaining a basic health routine.
- VSWS, through its project, Vijay Aahar, distributes food to children and all the needy to help them in consuming good food.
- VSWS also creates awareness for saving food when it is made in bulk, and then distributing it to the poor to prevent the wastage.
- Items like, clothes, stationary, school bags and so are frequently distributed made, with the motive to help the ones in need.
- Sessions are taken for women where they are taught to make paper bags and such easy items, so that they can earn for their own too.
- In the Present Covid situation, VSWS is also arranging session for people where they learn how to make cloth masks, as well as VSWS is distributing masks to people in need and encouraging others to do it too.
Vijay Social Welfare Society has a motto to help the people in need so that they can also believe in themselves and lead a life which is sufficient. Through these smalls steps, we play our part and we urge others to participate in the same.
To bring about the desired changes and outcome, more and more awareness has to be spread among people to help the unprivileged ones with innovative and good ideas. It is our firm belief that no one’s growth and development should be barred because of the factors like poverty and malnutrition.