Currently, India is home to the highest percentages of undernourished children in the world.
These chilling facts are part of a report prepared by the World Bank on the current malnutrition crisis in India. The prevalence of underweight kids among children in India is amongst the highest in the world, and nearly double that of Sub-Saharan Africa, it says.
The report notes that in in six states, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan at least one in two children is undernourished. The latter four of these six states account for more than 43% of all underweight children in the country.
More than half of the child deaths take place due to major diseases: malaria (57%), diarrhea (61%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%). Child malnutrition is responsible for 22% of the country’s burden of disease.
Democracy is a great weapon with which to fight famines- inages of starving millions in the newspapers and on television can shame even a government into action. However, its a poor defense against mass hunger. The above is not really news- this has been the state of affairs for quite some time .
Its news like these that incline me to think that the current "debate" over reservations in institutes of higher education is a red herring. It appears that both sides are ignoring what matters- primary education, primary health care (how can children be dying of diarrhea in 2006?), basic infrastructure.