24 percent Indian kids go hungry daily: Survey

February 15th, 2012 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Nearly 30 percent of Indian families have been forced to cut back on food due to rising prices, while around a quarter of kids go without food the whole day, according to an NGO.

A study on food inflation and its impact on eating habits, conducted by Save the Children, was conducted in five countries.

“It is shocking that parents are telling that they cannot buy food for their children because of high prices. This is destructive for the child’s development as malnutrition is fatal and contributes to child mortality,” Jasmine Whitbread, Save the Children International CEO, told IANS.

The study was conducted in December and January in Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Peru and India. It sampled over 1,000 adults in rural and urban areas.

“The reason we chose these countries was because the five nations cover more than half of the world’s malnourished children. India is a growing economy and this survey tells (us) the urgent need to set goals and measure progress for achieving the millennium development goals (MDG),” Whitbread added.

Nearly 66 percent respondents in India said rising food prices have been a pressing concern in 2011, while nearly 17 percent parents said their children skipped school to go to work and pay for food.

The report says in India and Nigeria, parents struggle to feed their children. A large section of the population seems unaffected by the economic progress in these countries.

“Our recommendations include setting up a nutrition mission, better defining and refining the selection criteria of families below poverty line and a host of essential interventions to improve nutritional security of families,” said the NGO’s India CEO Thomas Chandy.

Food inflation in India has dipped after remaining high for a long time. But figures show that though prices of foodgrains have dipped, those of vegetables, milk, eggs, meat and protein diet have risen substantially.

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