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Malnourished children prone to disease: expert

Correspondent

‘A majority of undernourished persons are in developing countries'


MSSRF has come up with an integrated approach to address eliminating hunger, he Swaminathan

It is not non-availability of food but lack of its access is a cause for concern


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Health matters: Chairman of MSSRF MSSwaminathan speaking at a meeting ‘food and nutrition security' at Jeypore on Monday President of Friends of MSSRF(Australia), Vicki Corbett (left) and Minister for Agriculture (right) Damodar Rout are seen

KORAPUT: A four-hour drive from Visakhapatnam to Jeypore was enough to realise the variation in the standard of living across the country, Vicki Corbett, president, Friends of MSSRF, Australia, said at Jeypore in Koraput district on Monday .

She was speaking at the consultation on ‘food and nutrition security' being organised by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. While malnourished children were more susceptible to diseases and lower level of education, the average lifespan of the population was also affected.

These reasons for variation were to be understood and steps taken considering the immense potential of the region and its people, to come out of the situation, Ms. Vicki said.

While it was a well established fact that a great majority of the undernourished persons in the world were in developing countries, there was an absolute increase in undernourished persons in India over the last many years, M.S. Swaminathan, chairman, MSSRF, said.

Integrated approach

Considering the importance of micro-level intervention to eliminate hunger, MSSRF had come up with an integrated approach to address UNMDG-1(Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger) in Koraput region .

A majority of the population was dependent on forest and subsistence agriculture, said Mr. Swaminathan and added that the agriculture in the region was mainly rain-fed and poorly developed. However, it was not the non-availability of food but lack of access to food which was root cause of the concern, he said.

Total literacy

With the government providing opportunities to grow through its various social security schemes on the one hand, it was only by providing total literacy to the families that change could be achieved in the region, he said.

With the formal education for children, the family should have the opportunity to facilitate functional literacy in relation to their livelihood options, he added .

While sharing equal concerns for the overall development of the region, Damodar Rout, Minister for Agriculture, said that the civil society organisations would work together with the government in raising the standard of living of the tribal people of the region .

MLA Rabi Narayan Nanda and district Collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil spoke.

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