The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the Civil Society, NGOs and Business houses to supplement government’s efforts in eliminating malnutrition in the country.
Expressing concerns, the Vice President said that despite considerable progress made by the nation in various spheres in the past seven decades, malnutrition remains a major challenge. “It is sad state of affairs that that 35.7% of our children below 5 years of age are underweight and 38.4% are stunted,” he added.
Addressing the gathering after visiting Adamya Chetana Green Kitchen in Bengaluru, the Vice President pointed out that various studies have shown that nutritional status of children was strongly associated with their academic performance.
“Lack of nutritious food may lead to poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity and increased infections,” he added.
Naidu said that malnutrition perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty and affects the economic development. He asserted that immediate steps must be taken to avoid such scenarios for the healthy development of the children and the adolescents.
Referring to the growing incidence of Non Communicable diseases due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy dietary habits, the Vice President called for creating awareness among youngsters on the need to avoid junk food and maintain physical fitness at all times.