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Malnutrition in MP – Shanmugam IAS Academy


What’s in news?

The stage of people from the Jain Social Group protested over the Kamal Nath government’s recent decision to provide eggs under the supplementary food programme.

Key data’s:


  • The malnutrition in the state were on the raising trend which has even led to deaths.
  • More than 100 children died in Sheopur district alone in 2016. With this, the state tops the list for malnourishment under the age of six in India.

Estimated data:

  • The following are the estimation according to the fourth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), released 2016 for the children affected to the diseases;
    • Anaemic – 74.1 per cent of the children
    • Malnourished – 60 per cent of the children
    • Underweight (low weight for age) – 42 per cent of the children under five
    • Stunted (low height for age) – 42 per cent of the children under five
    • Wasted (low weight for height) – 25.8 per cent of the children
  • Malnutrition was high among communities that depend more on public initiatives like Anganwadis and midday meals. The data shows that;
    • Stunting – 48.2 per cent children from scheduled tribes (STs) and 47.6 from scheduled castes (SCs).
    • Wasting – Above the state average of 20 per cent.

Government Step:

In order to tackle the issue, the Kamal Nath government recently decided to provide at least three eggs a week starting April 2020 to every child at Anganwadi centres across Madhya Pradesh.


The reason behind choosing of egg is as follows –

  • Eggs are considered as a source of quality protein and nutrient content.
  • The egg has a 6 gram of protein of high quality compared to cereals, pulses or even oilseeds and it can be absorbed and assimilated by the humans completely.
  • It cannot be adulterated or diluted.
  • It can be counted about the quantity, preserved and transported easily without any damage.

Reason to oppose:

  • A number of people opposing this move as this would be an assault on the culture of “vegetarian state”. 
  • But a study, “Nation survey” by the “Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)” for some media organisation found that only 31 per cent of Indians are vegetarians. 
  • Their protests were despite the government’s assurance of providing for alternatives for vegetarian children and mothers.
  • If the Government didn’t convince to their demand, then they move forward towards the High Court.
  • Despite this, nearly 1.14 lakh people from 17 districts in MP signed a petition supporting the inclusion of egg.

Alternative source:

  • Milk – It can be an alternative but it could be diluted or adulterated.
  • Dal (Pulses) – It contain protein but are deficient in amino acids and must be taken with rice or wheat for any benefit. For its protein to be useful for muscles and other body parts, four parts of cereals need to be mixed with each part of pulses in a meal.
  • The problem here is poor don’t get complete meals every time.


Links to note:

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