Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Malnourishment jumps to 34 per cent from 8 per cent in civic schools

The Asian Age: Mumbai: Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
According to the report released by Praja Foundation on malnourished children in civic-run schools, their number has gone up from 8 per cent in 2013-14 to 34 per cent in 2015-16, of which, the highest number of cases are to be found in Govandi and Mankhurd areas of Mumbai. According to Praja, the problem of malnutrition is due to a multitude of factors, including failure of government to implement programmes designed to address it effectively. The NGO said this was reflective of the general predicament of governance in India, where government initiatives often fell woefully short of attaining stated objectives.
Nitai Mehta, founder-trustee, Praja Foundation, said that information was gathered from BMC through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Data from 2013-14 and 2015-16 showed that the estimated number of malnourished children in Mumbai’s municipal schools had risen from 30,461 (8 per cent of the total 404,251 students) in 2013-14 to 130,680 (34 per cent of the total 383,485 students) in 2015-16.
Mr Mehta said, “The data shows that areas such as Govandi and Mankhurd have the highest number i.e. 15,038 malnourished children in civic schools in 2015-16. The areas also have the lowest human development index which is lower than even extremely poor countries such as the Central African Republic and South Sudan.”
BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and BMC education officer Mahesh Palkar were unavailable for comment. They failed to respond to mobile phone messages too.