New Delhi: One of India’s leading NGO Sukarya in collaboration with National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is organising a conference on challenges, learning and best practices to highlight malnutrition and anaemia widely prevalent among women and children in India. The consultation will be based on the experience and data collected by Sukarya during its course of working in villages and slums for twenty years, in the field of maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN).
Malnutrition and anaemia are widely prevalent in India. The recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS – 4) has put the spotlight back on the nutritional status of children in India as it shows that less than 10% of the children, below two years of age received adequate nutrition. A child’s brain develops rapidly during the first two years of life and malnourished children run a high risk of permanent cognitive problems. The data also shows that 35.7% of the children below the age of five were underweight, 21% suffered from wasting and 38% children were stunted. Anaemia too is widely prevalent among children in India. There is a growing realisation that malnutrition cannot be viewed in isolation only as a nutritional problem, but is determined by multi-faceted complex social, economic and cultural factors as well deprivation due to lack of access to safe water, sanitation and health facilities.
Commenting on the importance of the conference, Meera Satpathy, Founder and Chairperson of Sukarya said “It is long term need to free women and children from the prevalence of malnutrition in our Society. I consider it is a dire need and foremost priority. So the time to act is now.”
Several Indian and international experts in the field of Health and Nutrition from the country and abroad will be speaking at the Conference. Shri Ajay Tirkey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development will be present as the Chief Guest.
The consultation seeks to achieve the following:
· Share and discuss best practices, learning and challenges based on Sukarya’s experience of working in villages and slums for twenty years in the field of maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) as well as to learn from the rich experience of many others who have been contributing to the developments in this field.
· Share, learn and understand the use of technology, nutrition & promotion of indigenous food habits and community based care to improve MCHN.
· Provide a forum to bring together policymakers, civil society organizations, practitioners and experts from the field of Nutrition to synergise efforts and strategic local actions towards the issue. This would also offer an opportunity to our country’s nutrition policy community to discuss priorities for nutrition in India and feed into policy perspectives, and programs.