‘Mumbai has maximum number of malnourished kids’


Date: 16 July 2012

‘Mumbai has maximum number of malnourished kids’

Mumbai has more undernourished children under the age of five than the whole of urban Maharashtra. Experts say malnutrition is prevalent among  the slum dwellers, migrant labours and the city’s minority communities.

A recent report on malnutrition, titled ‘India’s nutrition crisis: A challenge of putting nutrition back in our food’ by Narotam Sekhasaria Foundation, an NGO, reveals that more than half of the country’s upcoming generation— children under four years of age — face a debilitating future because of malnutrition.

Questions raised in December 2011 in the state assembly revealed that 65 infants die daily in the state, with 13,683 deaths having occured between January to September 2011 alone.

The authors, a panel of national experts, warned that malnutrition in children can lead to a permanent reduction in their future learning capacity and an increased likelihood for future poverty, with negative impact on the entire economy. “Malnutrition is not a residue of development. It is a structural product of the present model of growth,” the report stated.

Tracing the root causes of malnutrition to India’s developmental policies of exploiting natural resources and minerals, forests and rivers on an industrial scale, the report claimed that this was pushing communities into poverty, turning them into ecological refugees and urban migrants.

Criticising the government’s age-old free feeding programmes like the Mid Day Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the experts stated that in Maharashtra, the department of women and child welfare prescribed Rs2 per day for each child till 2009.

Severely malnourished children, pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls were prescribed Rs2.70 and Rs 2.30 per day before April 2009, after which the Supreme Court ordered that expenditure be increased to Rs 4 and Rs 5, respectively. A cereal-based diet takes no account of the special needs of children or mothers. ICDS only offers one meal of rice and dal everyday, without variation, the report stated. To resolve this issue, the government put forth the idea of synthetically produced, single nutrient-fortified food and ready-to-eat packaged food.

The report recommended that the government involve community women in preparing rations from locally available ingredients instead of ready-to-eat packaged food.

 

ARTICLE URL: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_mumbai-has-maximum-number-of-malnourished-kids_1715512

IMMEDIATE RELEASE-Ethical Questions Raised as Molestation of Young Indian Girl is Captured on Camera


July 16, 2012

Ethical Questions Raised as Molestation of Young Indian Girl is Captured on Camera

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners and affiliates in India in calling for full disclosure of the circumstances in which a shocking incident of the public molestation of a young girl by a mob of more than twenty men was captured on video camera by a news channel reporter.

Video images of the incident, which occurred late evening on July 9 in the city of Guwahati in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, soon went viral on the web, provoking mass public outrage and questions over the role of the news reporter in the incident.

The Journalists’ Union of Assam (JUA), a constituent unit of the IFJ-affiliated Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) has reacted sharply to the incident, and called on all journalists to “adhere to the norms of journalistic conduct set by the Press Council of India and International Federation of Journalists”.

“Journalists are members of civil society and it is their duty to observe decency and not be mere spectators when they encounter any preventable crime”, said JUA President Geetartha Pathak. “Media persons should understand that human lives and honour are more important than increasing television ratings or circulation”.

The IFJ has learned that human rights groups in Assam state have analysed the entire video recording of the incident and concluded that a reporter with the NewsLive channel may have provoked and instigated the attack. There are reports that the video features some of the twenty strong mob striking a pose for the camera and at least one occasion when the camera focuses on the face of the victim and a microphone is thrust forward and inquiries are made about her name and identity. Perpetrators of the crime are also seen brushing the hair off the victim’s face so that her identity could be captured on camera.

The news channel management has defended the reporter’s conduct, on the grounds that his video footage has helped local police in identifying the perpetrators of the crime. The management claims that the reporter happened to be passing by the area at the time of the incident and reacted as any newsperson would, summoning the sole cameraman on duty at the news channel’s nearby office.

The reporter has since resigned from his job with the channel, which is owned by a powerful local politician and minister in the Assam state cabinet.

“We are shocked and distressed at this incident and extend our solidarity to the victim as she seeks to recover from the trauma”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific. “We call on all concerned journalists to join the public debate that arises from this incident”.

“The pervasive spread of new digital technologies and the rapid and largely unregulated growth of the visual media, make a full and authoritative restatement of the norms of journalistic conduct in situations involving crime and the violation of basic human rights, an absolute imperative”.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

ATTN DELHI-JOINT PROTEST DEMO AGAINST BIJAPUR MASSACRE, 17TH JULY


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Join Joint Protest Demonstration Against the Massacre of Adivasis of Bijapur

Date: 17th July (Tuesday) 2012, Time: 11 AM

Place: Chattisgarh Bhavan, Chanakyapuri, Delhi

Dear friends,

Recently the Indian state has intensified its eviction and extermination campaign against the adivasis of central and eastern India under the rubric of Operation Green Hunt. On the night of 28 June 2012 when the adivasi peasants of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta (Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh) gathered to plan the performance of the traditional festival Beej Pandum (seed festival), they were surrounded by hundreds of Police and Para-military forces of the Indian state. The armed forces resorted to indiscriminate firing killing 17 adivasis (including 6 minors) cold-blooded. Two other villagers were likewise killed near Jagargunda village of Sukma district in the same night, and predictably, were shown as casualties of an ‘encounter’ between the Maoists and the armed forces.

As the testimonies of the eyewitnesses coming through the Media, Fact Finding Reports of different Civil / Democratic Right Teams and the statements of different social-political forces (including the Congress Party of Chhattisgarh ) now confirm that the killing of the adivasis was a heinous massacre committed by the Cobra battalion of the CRPF and the Chhattisgarh Police, under the command of top police officials. Even the Union Tribal Minister Mr. K C Deo has said that ‘17 innocent citizens, who were unarmed, who were wearing just a dhoti or a baniyan and who did not even have a sickle or a knife’ had been killed by the CRPF.

But still the central Home Minister and the top officials of CRPF are claiming that these adivasis have been killed in a “fierce” gunfight in the dense jungles of Dantewada on June 27-28 in a joint anti-Maoist operation by the CRPF and state police. This is really a matter of grave concern for all the justice loving progressive and democratic forces of our country.

We, the under signed progressive, democratic and civil rights organizations working in Delhi have decided to show our anguish and concern in front of Chhattisgarh Bhavan, Chanakyapuri on 17th July 2012 at 11 AM, in the form of a Protest Demonstration.

We earnestly appeal to you / your organization to join us at Chhattisgarh Bhavan to make the protest programme successful. Hope your positive responses.

PUDR, SFR, KYS, KNS, INKLABHI MAZDOOR KENDR, People’s Front, AIFTU (New), REDICAL NOTES, MAZDOOR PATRIKA, SANHATI, PDFI, PUCL, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), Vidyarthi Yuvjan Sabha

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