Friday, October 16, 2015

The other not-so-glamorous facts about India

India has made much progress technologically. It has sent an orbiter to the Mars and has been making nuclear bombs, planes and tanks for years. However, far from all those technological breakthroughs or advances and the glamorous Bollywood images mesmerizing viewers, India still remains a poor third-world country where millions die of starvation and malnutrition. 

Manmohan Singh, India’s former prime minister, called child malnutrition
“a national shame” — but there’s still no political will to address it. 117,000 Indian children die each year from diarrhea, according to Unicef. Infant mortality is lower for Indian Muslims than for Hindus, even though Muslims are poorer and often discriminated in the job market.

Indian government has failed to take care of its own people. It is a shameful record when you reflect upon the fact that far more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets in India.

Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times has written an article (Half the Kids in This Part of India Are Stunted) on malnutrition in India, which can be viewed by clicking here. He asks: Why are hundreds of millions of children here stunted physically and mentally?

 "India is the epicenter of global malnutrition: 39 percent of Indian children are stunted from poor nutrition, according to government figures (other estimates are higher). Stunting is worse in India than in Burkina Faso or Haiti, worse than in Bangladesh or North Korea," writes Kristof.

“The average woman in India ends pregnancy weighing less than the average woman in sub-Saharan Africa begins pregnancy,” according to one of the experts he interviewed.

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