Poorly fed

IF THE children of India are any indication of the future health of the country, there may be a dark tomorrow in store for it. The Progress of Nations Report, 1996, released recently by the Government of India and the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund, reports that as many as 53 per cent of Indian children under five years of age are underweight due to malnutrition. The report observes that some of the poorest countries in sub-saharan Africa, which suffer from lower levels of malnutrition are also known to suffer from famines.

But India has long since won over the problem. This points to the fact that it is a slow death, in the form of malnutrition, that is holding the population at ransom. The key factors linked to the malady are social factors which keep mothers at subsistence levels and the people's ignorance of the nutrition value of various foods (which for all they know may be growing in their backyards).

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