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.
The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World By Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan HarperCollins / 284 pages / Rs 599 Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and public intellectual, has often spoken of &ls
The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnesse
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised deciding driving hours for truck drivers of commercial vehicles, similar to pilots, to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. In a Na
In a step towards Telecom Reforms which aim to provide internet and tele connectivity for the marginalised section, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communica
Raising concerns over rising seawater levels and climate change, Mumbai First, a 25-year-old public-private partnership policy think tank, has written letters to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, minister for environment and climate change, tourism and protocol, Aditya Thackeray and Mumbai munic
After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr