Don’t Let Kids Go Hungry! Raise Funding To Tackle Malnutrition
“With just Rs 3.86 allocated per day per child at government primary schools in Bihar, the khichdi served for the mid-day meal at Rajkiya Prathmik Vidyalaya in Araria’s Gokhlapur is a watery affair. But on February 10, Kasheeda, a Class V student, made the mistake of asking for a second helping. The 12-year-old was allegedly hit, and when her father Mohammed Shagir protested, he too was allegedly kicked. Hours later, Shagir died.”
http://indianexpress.com/ article/india/india-news- india/girl-hit-for-asking- more-of-mid-day-meal-father- killed-for-protesting/
Like Kasheeda there are lakhs of poor children, who depend heavily on initiatives like the mid-day meal scheme for nourishment. With just Rupees 3.86 allocated per child per day - vulnerable children are not being served the nutritious food that they need. The inadequacy of funding also leads to lack of trust between the schools and the communities they serve and consequently social unrest of the above type.
The state of malnutrition in children in India is disturbing. One in every three children is underweight and 4 out of every 10 are stunted. These are statistics unbecoming of a nation trying to assert itself on the global stage. This is a matter of national pride and each and every one of us should take responsibility in rectifying it.
Do you think it is fair to expect young children to be at their best without enough nutrition? Don’t you think it is time to bury the scourge of malnutrition?
Let us all come together to urge Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi:
- To tackle malnutrition from the ground up
- For a comprehensive approach to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for eradication of all forms of malnutrition by 2030
- Bolster proven schemes like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) and build a nation of healthy and educated individuals.
With 35% of its 1.2 billion people under the age of 18, India needs to invest in its children’s health to become a significant force on the global stage.
Let us show strength in numbers by signing this petition and show our support for need in institutional intervention to address this affliction.
Let us leave a better, brighter future for the children of India. The problem is enormous, but not insurmountable. Let us not sit on the sidelines and watch vulnerable children waste away due to lack of will. We must do our part in correcting this. Let us take pride in leaving a better India and world for future generations. The time to act is NOW.
Please sign this petition to show your support and together we will build a strong nation where malnutrition is a thing of the past.
- Sri Narendra Modi
- Ministry of Human Resources Development
Smt Smriti Irani
Raise the funding for mid-day meals to cover minimum nutritional needs of a child
We are writing to you to make an appeal to the Government of India to commit to a comprehensive approach to eradicating all forms of malnutrition in the children of India.
Statistics present a stark picture about the state of nutrition of Indian children. The World Bank estimates that the prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world and is nearly double that of Sub-Saharan Africa.
National Family Health Survey - III of 2005 - 2006 found that
• Almost half of India’s children are underweight
• Four out of every 10 Indian children are stunted
Things have improved in the last decade, but we still have a long way to go. The Rapid Survey of Children report of 2013 - 14 found that almost 30% are underweight with no change in stunting levels compared to the NFHS - III report of 2005 - 06. In the India of 21st century, our children deserve better.
India, as a signatory of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 - 90 has been implementing various schemes like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) for school children to combat this malaise.
Independent studies have shown the positive effects of this Mid-Day Meal Scheme on nutrition in addition to increased enrollment, retention and improved learning levels in children. With over 95% of vulnerable children under its net, MDMS provides a perfect platform to continue the progress towards a malnutrition free India.
It is in this context, we request you to make the health and wellbeing of India’s children a top priority. Specifically, we request Central Government action on the following:
• With immediate effect, double the funding for Mid-Day Meal Scheme to cover all the children under the program’s net taking into account nutritional needs of the child, food price inflation, regional differences in cost of ingredients and local conditions. While evaluating nutritional needs of the child, please consider the fact that this is the only healthy meal for a majority of these children and compensate accordingly.
• Do an in-depth study of all causes of malnutrition in children and ways to address those. Providing supplements like iron and folic acid tablets, cooking meals with iodised salt, adding a morning snack, adding boiled eggs have all been proven to address various forms of malnutrition. Provide necessary infrastructure and adequate funding to implement recommendations from the study.
With over 35% of Indian population under the age of 18, we request you to please consider these outlays as an investment for the future of India and act swiftly to build a healthy and productive India.
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