5 Ways To Protect Underprivileged Children From Malnutrition In India

Published on October 24, 2023

malnutrition in India

Healthy food and access to basic healthcare are essential for a child's development at physical, mental, and cognitive levels. All children must receive basic nutrition on time, regularly and appropriately, to prevent long-term and, in some cases, irreversible harm to their health.

This is why it is crucial to spread awareness on the importance of maintaining good health. After all, every 3rd child under 5 years of age in India is chronically undernourished (NFHS 4, 2016). This is a staggering number in a nation that is known to make path-breaking achievements in fields like technology and science. Children are the future of every nation and they deserve to be looked after in the best possible manner. 

There is a severe lack of regular, healthy, and nutritious meals that all children must receive every single day. But nearly 60% of children in India, under the age of 5, are anaemic (NFHS 4, 2015-2016). The deprivation leads to children becoming anaemic and underweight, thus making malnutrition in India an unresolved reality. These unfortunate statistics reflect that many children are in dire need of basic resources for their overall development, right from the time they are born. From regular check-ups to awareness among parents, children need resources like medical care for their well-being.

As malnourishment leads to 69% of deaths amongst children below the age of 5 years in India (UNICEF, 2019), CRY works to ensure that children have access to high-quality healthcare support. In 2022-23, 89% of children in CRY project areas, under the age of 5 years, have been protected from malnutrition in India (only 17% of children in CRY project areas are underweight, as compared to 32% all India status as per NFHS 5).

To lower India's infant mortality rate (IMR), child mortality rate (CMR), and maternal mortality rate (MMR), CRY, India’s most trusted NGO, focuses on health and nutrition initiatives to adopt a proactive and responsive strategy.

5 Ways To Prevent Child Malnutrition in India

Child malnutrition in India is a critical issue that calls for immediate attention and concerted efforts. It poses a grave threat to the nation's future, affecting not only the physical and mental well-being of children but also hindering their educational and developmental prospects. As an esteemed child rights NGO, CRY India is passionately committed to addressing this issue and has been working tirelessly in the realm of prevention of malnutrition in children across the country.

CRY India is actively engaged in implementing these strategies to create a brighter, healthier future for India's children.

ways to prevent child malnutrition

1. Educate & Spread Awareness about Child Malnutrition

The first step in child malnutrition prevention is to educate communities about its causes, consequences, and ways to mitigate it. CRY India recognizes the power of knowledge in driving change, and hence, tirelessly engages in awareness campaigns and educational initiatives. By organising workshops, seminars, and awareness drives, CRY India educates parents, caregivers, and community leaders about the importance of proper nutrition, hygiene, and healthcare.

Through these efforts, we aim to dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding child malnutrition, ensuring that individuals are equipped with accurate information to make informed decisions about their children's health to avoid child malnutrition. Prevention of malnutrition in children begins with understanding the issue, and CRY India is committed to ensuring that knowledge becomes a powerful tool for change.

2. Mid-Day Meal Programs

One of the most effective ways to prevent child malnutrition is by providing children with regular, nutritious meals. CRY India has been a staunch advocate for the implementation and improvement of mid-day meal programs in schools across the country. These programs not only ensure that children receive essential nutrients but also incentivize school attendance, contributing to increased enrollment rates.
By working closely with government bodies, CRY India has successfully influenced policy changes and improvements in the quality and reach of mid-day meal programs. This advocacy helps avoid child malnutrition by guaranteeing that vulnerable children have access to at least one nutritious meal a day, which is often their only reliable source of sustenance.

3. Invest & Promote Social Welfare

Preventing child malnutrition requires addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality. CRY India actively promotes and invests in social welfare initiatives that empower families and communities to break the cycle of malnutrition. We believe that improving the economic well-being of families is essential for long-term prevention of malnutrition in children.

Our efforts to stop child malnutrition include advocating for policies that increase access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities for marginalized communities. By promoting social welfare, we aim to create an environment where families can afford nutritious food, proper healthcare, and a good education for their children, ultimately preventing child malnutrition at its source.

4. Educate Children about Healthy Food Habits & Its Importance

Child malnutrition prevention not only involves providing nutritious meals but also teaching them about healthy food habits and their significance. CRY India runs educational programs in schools and communities to raise awareness among children about the importance of a balanced diet, hygiene, and healthy lifestyle choices.

Empowering children with knowledge about nutrition equips them with the tools to make healthier choices and encourages them to share this knowledge with their families. This ripple effect creates a culture of health and nutrition within communities, making a significant contribution to stopping child malnutrition.

5. Join NGOs to Bring Awareness to a Wider Community

Addressing child malnutrition is a collective responsibility that requires the involvement of the entire society. CRY India actively encourages individuals to join hands with NGOs and become part of the solution. By volunteering, donating, or participating in awareness campaigns, you can play a vital role in preventing child malnutrition in India.

When communities unite and raise their voices against child malnutrition, it becomes easier to garner the attention of policymakers and demand concrete action. Joining an NGO like CRY India allows you to amplify your efforts and bring awareness to a wider community, creating a more significant impact in the fight to stop child malnutrition.

Child malnutrition is a grave issue that demands immediate attention, succinct strategies to stop child malnutrition and a multifaceted approach. CRY India, as an esteemed child rights NGO, is actively engaged in preventing child malnutrition by educating and spreading awareness, advocating for better policies, improving access to nutritious meals, promoting social welfare, and empowering children with knowledge about healthy food habits.

The prevention of malnutrition in children is not just a goal but a mission that requires the collective efforts of individuals, communities, and organisations. 

CRY India urges you to be a part of this noble endeavor, where together, we can create a brighter, healthier future for India's children. Let us unite in our commitment to stop child malnutrition and ensure that every child in India grows up healthy, nourished, and with the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

You can help make a difference by donating to NGO CRY to support children from underserved communities. Your donation can protect underprivileged children from malnutrition in India and give them a chance at a healthier future.