India home to world’s 42% underweight children

CALCUTTA, Oct 13, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio)  “India is home to 42 percent of the world’s underweight children and 31 percent of its stunted children”, according to “2010 Global Hunger Index” report.

The 2010 Global Hunger Index was calculated for 122 developing countries and countries in transition by International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide. Report says that there are more than one billion hungry people in the world and argues that improving child nutrition would reduce global hunger.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged India to wake up and deal with her monumental child malnutrition crisis at an emergency level.

In a statement in Nevada (USA) today, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, expressed shock at the findings of this report.

Rajan Zed further said although India was on track to become a global power, but her new prosperity had remained evasive for many. Despite economic miracle, many Indians still lived in desperate poverty. Inequalities in opportunities blocked poor people from participating in the growth process and they remained trapped in vicious cycle of poverty. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.

Zed argued that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., needed to be immediately dealt with. According to an estimate, about one third of world’s poor lived in India.

Rajan Zed also appealed to India’s billionaires/millionaires, who had enormously benefitted from India’s economic growth, to pledge some of their wealth to charitable causes aimed at poverty eradication. Quoting scriptures, Zed said that charity was a duty, which should be undertaken with sympathy and modesty. Religions should also put their share in poverty elimination programs in the communities of India.

The International Food Policy Research Institute based in Washington DC (USA) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. Welthungerhilfe out of Bonn is one of the largest non-governmental aid organizations in Germany. Concern Worldwide headqartered in New York (USA) is an international non-governmental humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries.