No child left behind policy

According to GHI and Global Nutrition Report 2016, mortality among Indian children less than 5 years old has declined to around 5 per cent from 11 per cent during the period between 1992-2017, while 25 per cent of India's children less than 5 years old are still malnourished.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017 indicates that, wasting (low weight for height), continues to be 21 per cent for children less than 5 years in India, it was 20 per cent in 1992.

GHI has recorder a reduction in stunting (height for age) from 61.9 per cent in 1992 to 38.4 per cent in 2017, for Indian children under 5 years.

Government's initiatives

National Nutrition Mission (NNM), or Poshan Abhiyaan is launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to ensure convergence among the various programmes of the government.

National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) is prepared by NITI aayog, to isolated the 100 most backward districts affected by stunting and prioritised for interventions.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), to include pregnant and nursing mothers and children up to 6 years, ICDS has a network of 1.4 million Anganwadi Centres, reaching almost 100 million beneficiaries.

Mid-day meals (MDM), a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide.

Public Distribution System (PDS), to distribute subsidised food and non-food items to India's poor. It reaches over 800 million people under the National Food Security Act.

Way ahead
Above mentioned facts indicates that despite various programmes to improve nutrition and a 7 per cent compound annual growth rate over the last decade, the levels of under-nutrition are still high in the country.

ICDS, MDM and PDS needs to be re-engineered for greater effectiveness. Public-private partnerships should be including for positive results, as it will engage local communities, generate employment and ensures minimal leakage as it works with and inside the community.

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