‘A national shame’
Rajni, a severely malnourished 2-year-old girl, is weighed by health workers at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Center of Shivpuri district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Feb. 1. India has failed to reduce its high prevalence of child malnutrition despite its economy doubling between 1990 and 2005 to become Asia’s third largest. A recent government-supported survey said 42 percent of children under age 5 are underweight – almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa – compared to 43 percent five years ago. The statistic – which means 3,000 children are dying daily due to illnesses related to poor diets – prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to admit that malnutrition was “a national shame” and was putting the health of the nation in jeopardy.
Adnan Abidi / Reuters