India leads Commonwealth tally
  Oct 14, 2010 01.20 PM

India tops the rank in Commonwealth countries as the home to the highest number of underweight children.

Save the Children, a child rights NGO released a new report saying ‘’Commonwealth or Common Hunger" and said that about 43% of India's children are underweight, and 7 million under fives are severely malnourished.

The report reveals that 64% of the world's underweight children live in 54 Commonwealth countries, and India has both the highest number and the highest proportion of underweight children. More than two-thirds of stunted children (88.5 million or 68.6%) and nearly half of those who are underweight (95 million or 48.7%) live in just seven Commonwealth countries.

India is one among the seven Commonwealth countries that are not showing adequate progress on MDG 1. India has achieved just 0.9% progress, which is nowhere near achieving the target by 2015. The countries lagging behind India in MDG’s are Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

The CEO of Save the Children, Thomas Chandy has said that, " With 55 million children under five being underweight India needs to show similar leadership and political will to find a solution to the silent epidemic that is quietly wiping out generations of our children just like it has done by hosting the Commonwealth Games against all odds and overcome problems and finding solutions “he said.

The conception of a child from its 33rd month to its second birthday is the most critical period when malnutrition can have the most irrevocable impact the report said. It is much harder to reverse the effects of chronic malnutrition, and the effects can be life-long or life-threatening once this period is complete.

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