Questions current growth vision when 40 percent children are malnourished
Prasanna Mohanty | February 16, 2013
Batting for universal coverage of food entitlement, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen called for strengthening the draft food security bill, particularly the provisions relating to children’s entitlement. He said the supreme court orders on mid-day meals and integrated child development services (ICDS) had made important contribution to the health and nutrition of children. The bill, he felt, should not dilute these entitlements in any way.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‘hunger and nutrition: time to act’ organised at the Delhi IIT on Friday.
Sen said meeting the needs of malnourishments in children was not only important from the point of social justice but also to generate long-term growth and development. He drew attention to the fact “with one-third illiteracy, one-half without toilets, one-third with no electricity, 40 percent of children being under-nourished” India needed to review if any increase in growth rate was sustainable at all.
In fact, he recalled how at the time of independence the principles of free and universal provision of essential health, education and nutrition were part of the country’s vision and how we need to revive that now.
He counted three benefits of universal coverage of health, education and nutrition. First, it makes these facilities a matter of citizens’ right, and avoids any exclusion. Second, it ensures that powerful and influential people have a stake in them. Third, universal coverage helps to avoid corruption.
Saying that the tabling of food security bill in parliament was an achievement in itself Sen said it must be pushed sensibly, keeping in mind where cash transfers would work and where not. It was in reference to some states demanding cash transfer instead of food supply to the poor and malnourished population.
In the meanwhile, the food security bill has been sent back to the drawing board after several state governments opposed to some of the key elements of the bill. These objections related to uniform criteria of selecting beneficiaries, putting an arbitrary limit on the number of beneficiaries in rural (75 percent) and urban (50 percent) and the financial burden the extended coverage would put on some of the badly performing and poor states.
Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1. Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m
The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic
Saundarya Lahari: Wave of Beauty Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao HarperCollins, 218 pages, Rs 399 ‘Saundarya Lahari’, usually ascribed to Adi Shankaracharya, has a unique status among the religious-spiritual works of Hinduism.
This year, as the nation commemorates the 75th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, Rajesh Talwar, a prolific author who is also a legal advisor to the UN, is all set to release a play for children on non-violence chronicling the life of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The Boy Who Became the Mahat
Neha Lakra, 20, doesn’t forget to practise hockey, at least for four hours, every day. Whether at home or at the Panposh sports hostel in Rourkela where she is training under the guidance of coaches, her routine doesn’t change. “I can’t sleep unless I have worked on the ground,&rdqu
Somewhere Among the Stars: Reflections of a Mystic By Adi Varuni Kali/BluOne Ink, 282 pages, Rs 395 Decades ago, when an unknown N