Different States, Different levels: Understanding Malnutrition in India
Chennai January 31, 2017: It is not enough to just talk about hunger and malnutrition, but it is important to show results on the field, Dr V Rajagopal, Founder of the Society for Hunger Elimination (SHE), Tirupati, said at a seminar held at MSSRF on Tuesday.
India is ranked 97 out of 118 globally in the Hunger Index putting it only few points above some African countries. Dr Rajagopal, senior agriculture scientist, Director of what was CPCRI, has been working for the past few years on field level initiatives related to nutrition. Using data collated from across sources, he gave an overview of the acute malnutrition and hunger status across different states in the country. He focused particularly on how it affects women and children. There has only been marginal improvement over the past few years. He spoke of the different types of malnutrition, including calorie deprivation, protein energy malnutrition and anaemia.
Some of the solutions suggested by Dr Rajagopal were that all states must adopt biofortified crops and importance be given to non-food factors of malnutrition. He emphasized the need to educate girls to prevent early marriages and underweight children. He outlined measures taken by his Foundation to address this.
Prof Swaminathan, Founder MSSRF, released books written by Dr Rajagopal and his wife Mrs Padma Priya on ‘Malnutrition’ and ‘Poverty and Hunger’ respectively during the occasion. Prof Swaminathan also reiterated the need to pay attention to non-food factors like water and sanitation and said everyone should whatever they can to eliminate hunger. He congratulated Dr Rajagopal on the good work he was doing at his Foundation and wished him success. The seminar and book release event was attended by scientists and researchers.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.