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The Big Picture – War on Malnutrition and Poverty: Welfare schemes helped?



  • The problem of hunger, poverty and malnutrition has been dogging our country for years now.
  • Every successive government has attempted with varying degrees of success to tackle these problems over the years.
  • The efforts to tackle these problems in the last 10 years seem to be bearing some fruits now.
  • The latest GHI report has indicated that in India the malnutrition among children below 5 years has dropped from 43.5% in 2005 to 30.7% 2014.
  • Though there is still lot to be done, this is a good news, especially for those who had been advocating for the vigorous intervention by the government with different social welfare schemes. However there have also been some criticisms against the schemes introduced by the government.
  • However the latest report has shown that schemes like ICDS, NRHM, NREGA, midday meals scheme and food security schemes have been helpful.
  • Intense monitoring along with the schemes has helped India achieve this success.
  • Inter departmental linkages issue is the thing where we are still falling back.
  • We have one more year to achieve the targets of MDGs.
  • The report says that the first 1000 days in a child’s life are crucial. It has direct impact on cognitive abilities and learning abilities of the children.
  • The report has also spoken about Hidden Hunger. Hidden hunger means micro nutrients deficiency. Hidden hunger is unlike the hunger that comes from a lack of food. It is a chronic lack of vitamins and minerals that often has no visible warning signs, so that people who suffer from it may not even be aware of it
  • Southern Indian states are performing well compared to Northern states in achieving the set targets by different welfare schemes.
  • State bureaucracies work entirely at the vision of the Chief Minister. Hence the success of any scheme mainly lies on the nature of leadership at the state level.