In Raipur, schemes aimed at tackling the issue of malnutrition have not eradicated it.
After Sarwat started researching on health problems in his area, he decided to focus on malnutrition. He wanted to understand why there is so much information and so many programs about malnutrition, but the issue is still so widespread. Indeed, when Sarwat looked at the statistic figures, he realised that 60% of children in Raipur were suffering from malnutrition. “Being from a rural background, I was aware that beyond the appearance, India is still a country in which malnutrition is a serious problem”.
However, numerous organisations have initiated programs to fight against malnutrition. Thus, the Anganwadi centre is providing several services: distribution of supplementary nutrition, vaccinations, and other health services such as routine check-ups for kids. The centre is sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Women and Child Development, and therefore should have sufficient means to fight malnutrition efficiently.
And yet, several beneficiaries have not received their rations. “People don’t get their rations for three reasons: sometimes they don’t come, the ration supply is rather irregular and the centre staff do not always make sufficient effort to reach people most in need, preferring to simply distribute the rations around them.”
So, for Sarwat, malnutrition remains “a silent emergency”. He thinks that a multi-sector response is needed: awareness should be raised in the population about malnutrition, the government should be further involved, and the centres should receive independent feedback and monitoring. Hence, Sarwat hopes that his video will work as tool to sensitize the community and the government officials on malnutrition and the inadequacy of certain programs.