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“three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet.”, In this context analyse the Nutrition challenges facing India.

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. “three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet.”, In this context analyse the Nutrition challenges facing India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explains that the India’s low global rank in tackling nutritional deficits calls for a revamped PDS.

Key Demand of the question:

One must analyse in detail the Nutrition challenges facing India.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with alarming facts like – This year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) places India in the company of Sudan — rank 94 among 107 countries — with the unedifying assessment of the national situation as “serious”.

Body:

The recent findings of the International Food Policy Research Institute scholars show that three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet. The NFHS-4 of 2015-16 found that under-five stunting from chronic undernourishment stood at 38%, and wasting as a result of acute lack of nutrition, at 21%.

The above observations are evidence of the nutrition challenge that India faces.

Explain the concerns first and the causes – The existing deprivation has been aggravated by the pandemic, with food inflation putting pressure on depleted incomes or meager pensions and savings. The right to food leaves a large section of Indians hungry, stunted and wasted. There is a need to overcome the false equation between energy calories and nourishing diets etc.

Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

There is the need for a radical transformation in the delivery of adequate nutrition especially to women and children to address the issue of hunger, wasting and stunting among children. Strengthening the PDS, with a focus on women’s health, would lead to healthier pregnancies, and stronger supplemental nutrition under the ICDS scheme would give children a better chance at all-round development.