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India

Loud and unclear

Issue Date: Jan 15, 2014
Does the Indian government’s loud voice in international negotiations produce results? At the recent WTO meet in Bali, the Indian government went all guns blazing to defend the rights of its farmers and to ensure food security for millions of poor. It opposed the Agreement on Agriculture that limits government food procurement at 10 per cent of the value of total production, based on the prices of late 1980s. It said this clause would impinge on its right to offer farmers a supportive price and to procure food stocks for its food safety programme.

A village desperate for nutrition

Rabina's house can be seen in this picture. Her father says that he along with other villagers could grow some vegetable on and off and feed their children before the dam was constructed. But with much of the land being submerged, availability of nutritious and cheap food is hard to come by Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Rabina’s malnourished feet. According to the World Health Organization, children with severe acute malnutrition are among the most vulnerable people in the world. They are very thin and most of their fat and muscles having been used by their bodies to stay alive Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Rabina was born healthy but gradually slipped into the category of severely acute malnourished. At two-and-a-half years, she weighs 6.5 kg. A healthy child her age should ideally weigh at least eight kg. After a treatment course at the district nutrition rehabilitation centre, she gained health for a while. But deprived of regular healthy diet, her condition worsened again. She is now a case of chronic malnutrion Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Staple diet of children of Udvaya and Mohhamadnagar consists of chapati, red chili powder chutney and puks (a packaged snack available at Rs 2 per 12 gram packet).For the locals, puks are an inexpensive and a filling diet for their kids. Each packet of the snack, labeled Chhota Bheem, mentions that the product should be consumed within three months of being manufactured but does not give the date of manufacturing anywhere Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Meera, who has to travel a distance of 24-25 km each time to submit report to the supervisor, is rarely seen without the weighing machine in her hands Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Udvaya lacks many facilities like good roads. People living in the region still look up to the Scindias as their rulers and have not reaped fruits of nation's economic development Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Two-year-old Draupadi (seen in the picture) is a moderately acute malnourished child from Mohammadnagar, a hamlet of Sahariyas on Gwalior-Jhansi highway and 15 kms from Udvaya. She weighs a little more than eight kg and gets to eat vegetables like potato and gourd only once a week Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Meera Pal’s house in Udvaya can be seen in the picture. Shivpuri is an area dominated by scheduled tribes (ST), mainly Sahariya. Almost 73 per cent of children admitted in the nutrition rehabilitation centre of the town belong to STs. With a catchment area of 5,540 sq km, the dam has uprooted 13 villages of Sahariya tribe, and adversely affected many more. Providing drinking water to Shivpuri town was one of the main objectives behind building of this dam. Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’

A village desperate for nutrition

Fresh peanut crop, a nutritious food item, being roasted by the villagers of Udvaya. They, however, say that after the construction of Madikheda dam on the Sindh river, a lot of cultivable land in Udvaya and other villages has been submerged and they have been facing acute shortage of home grown nutritious food Photograph by Jyotsna Singh Read more: ‘Treat severe malnutrition at home’
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