peoples march

from the people against injustice in the society

Posts Tagged ‘india shining’

India has highest prevalence of underweight kids: study

Posted by ajadhind on October 12, 2010

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New York, Oct 12, PTI:
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
India has highest prevalence of underweight children under five and the level of hunger there is ”alarming” as the country ranks 67, out of 84 countries, on the Global Hunger Index, a new study has found.
About 40 per cent of under-five children in India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, and Yemen were underweight, while Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, and Somalia have the highest under -five mortality rate – 20 per cent or more, a report by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has found.

“Globally, the biggest contributor to the world GHI (Global Hunger Index) score is child underweight,” it said. The GHI was calculated on three factors – the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate.

The report found that in South Asia, India was among the countries with hunger levels considerably higher than their GNI (Gross National Income) per capita would suggest, while China had considerably lower hunger levels.

In India, the report said, the “high” GHI scores “were driven by high levels of child underweight resulting from the low nutritional and social status of women in the country.”

“Conflict, disease, inequality, poor governance, and gender discrimination were factors that can push a country’s level of hunger higher than what would be expected based on its income,” it noted.

The study also found that more than 90 per cent of the world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia where rates were 40 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, and more than 80 per cent of stunted children were living in 24 countries.

“India alone accounts for a large share of the world’s undernourished children,” the report said, citing a previous survey by the World Health Organisation, which found that in 2005–06, about 44 per cent of Indian children under age five were underweight and 48 per cent were stunted.

“Because of the country’s sheer size, these numbers mean that India is home to 42 per cent of the world’s underweight children and 31 per cent of its stunted children,” IFPRI researchers noted, referring to a UNICEF report.

Overall, the survey puts 29 countries in the”alarming” and “extremely alarming” category with the latter being in the Sub-Saharan Africa — Burundi, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritrea.

Though highest levels of hunger were found in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the report noted that South Asia has made much more progress since 1990.

Between the 1990 GHI and the 2010 GHI, the countries that made an absolute progress were Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Vietnam.

It also highlighted that malnutrition among children under two years of age was one of the leading challenges to reducing global hunger.

“To improve their scores, many countries must accelerate progress in reducing child malnutrition,” said Marie Ruel, co-author of the report.

“Considerable research shows that the window of opportunity for improving nutrition spans from conception to age two. After age two, the negative effects of undernutrition are largely irreversible.”

The report will come out ahead of World Food Day on Oct 16.

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Protesting Dalits smear themselves with human excreta

Posted by ajadhind on July 21, 2010

by Deccan Herald

A basic right, taken for granted with no second thoughts for many, is a struggle for the Bhangi community in Savanur. The community members went as far as pouring human excreta over themselves, so that their voices are heard and as a sign of protest against those trying to evict them from their homes.ReasonFor the past 70 years, four families of the Bhangi community, who work as night soil workers, have been living in huts built on land belonging to the Savanur Town Municipal Council (TMC).At a meeting some time ago, the TMC decided to evict the families and build a commercial complex in its place. Ever since, the TMC has employed various devious ways to force the families out of their homes.Starting with an oral directive, the TMC has resorted to cutting water connection to the families, dumping waste in front of their homes, barging into their homes, insulting their women and threatening them.The community members, who are treated as the lowest among the dalits, submitted an appeal to the sub-divisional officer in January against their eviction and have ever since submitted numerous appeals to the government over the past seven months.Finding no sympathisers in the system for their cause, the community members finally resorted to this extreme form of protest on Tuesday.The families submitted an appeal to the Assistant Commissioner on Monday demanding temporary water connection. But they were asked to pay the TMC Rs 2,000 for each connection.Helpless, the community members took out a mock funeral from their homes in Kamala Bangadi to the TMC on Tuesday. At the TMC, three members of the community poured human excreta over themselves and begged for water to clean themselves.Officials apathyAs if this was not heart-wrenching enough, none of the officials at the Town Municipal Council came forward to receive their appeal.A verbal duel ensued between TMC officials and Dalit Sangarsha Samithi activists. TMC Executive Officer H N Bajakkanavar defended the TMC, saying they never tried to evict the Bhangis, but added that TMC would provide houses for them under various housing schemes.He also said only illegal water connections were cut off. However, the DSS pointed out that several illegal water connections in the town were untouched and only those feeding Bhangis were cut off. “This is harassment against a community that is still treated like untouchables,” they said.When no official accepted the appeal from the Bhangis, the latter cleaned the toilets in the TMC premises.They then went to the Revenue Department and submitted their appeal to Tahsildar Prashanth Nalavar.

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India Shining!!55% of India’s population poor: Report

Posted by ajadhind on July 16, 2010

source toi

NEW DELHI: India’s abysmal track record at ensuring basic levels of nutrition is the greatest contributor to its poverty as measured by the new international Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI). About 645 million people or 55% of India’s population is poor as measured by this composite indicator made up of ten markers of education, health and standard of living achievement levels.

Developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) for the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) forthcoming 2010 Human Development Report, the MPI attempts to capture more than just income poverty at the household level. It is composed of ten indicators: years of schooling and child enrollment (education); child mortality and nutrition (health); and electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets (standard of living). Each education and health indicator has a 1/6 weight, each standard of living indicator a 1/18 weight.

The new data also shows that even in states generally perceived as prosperous such as Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka, more than 40% of the population is poor by the new composite measure, while Kerala is the only state in which the poor constitute less than 20%. The MPI measures both the incidence of poverty and its intensity. A person is defined as poor if he or she is deprived on at least 3 of the 10 indicators. By this definition, 55% of India was poor, close to double India’s much-criticised official poverty figure of 29%. Almost 20% of Indians are deprived on 6 of the 10 indicators.

Nutritional deprivation is overwhelmingly the largest factor in overall poverty, unsurprising given that half of all children in India are under-nourished according to the National Family Health Survey III (2005-06). Close to 40% of those who are defined as poor are also nutritionally deprived. In fact, the contribution of nutrition to the overall MPI is even greater in urban than rural India.

A comparison of the state of Madhya Pradesh and the sub-Saharan nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which have close to the same population and a similar MPI (0.389 and 0.393 respectively), shows that nutritional deprivation, arguably the most fundamental part of poverty, in MP far exceeds that in the DRC. Nutritional deprivation contributes to almost 20% of MP’s MPI and only 5% of the DRC’s MPI. MP’s drinking water, electricity and child mortality levels are better than that of the DRC.

Multi-dimensional poverty is highest (81.4% poor) among Scheduled Tribes within India’s Hindu population, followed by Scheduled Castes (65.8%), Other Backward Class (58.3%) and finally the general population (33.3%).

There is significant variation between the poverty incidence in various states as per the MPI and as per the Indian Planning Commission’s official figures. Based on the MPI, Bihar has by far the most poor of any state in the country, with 81.4% of its population defined as poor, which is close to 12% more than the next worst state of Uttar Pradesh.

As per the Planning Commission’s figures, 41.4% of Bihar and 32.8% of UP is poor. In a possible indication of inadequate access to health and education facilities which do not show up in income poverty, almost 60% of north-east India and close to 50% of Jammu & Kashmir are poor as per the MPI, while the Planning Commission figures are around 16% and 5% respectively.

The findings would provide further ballast to the argument of some economists that India’s official poverty estimation methods are too narrowly focused to capture the real extent of deprivation in the country.

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