Government data indicates 9.27 lakh children who are "severely acutely malnourished." 

in image a malnutrition baby

According to an RTI request by PTI, the Women and Child Development Ministry detected an estimated 9,27,606 "severely acute malnutrition" children aged six months to six years across the country until November last year. According to government figures, Uttar Pradesh had 3,98,359 people while Bihar had 2,79,427. Thus, more than 9.2 lakh children in India are 'severely acutely malnourished,' with the highest numbers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, raising worries that the Covid epidemic may compound the health and nutrition problems among the poorest of the poor.

There were no highly malnourished children recorded in Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, Manipur, or Madhya Pradesh. According to the answer from the RTI, hardly any of the Anganwadi facilities, especially Madhya Pradesh, including some of the largest states in India, have given information on the subject.

Last year the Ministry of Women and Child Development directed all countries and union territories to detect and report to hospitals SAM children as soon as feasible. Following the operation, a total of 9,27,606 people was counted. However, the concern is that the figures may not only be underestimated,  but may potentially climb as the pandemic continues, with suspicions that the third wave would disproportionately affect youngsters.

"There is a rise in unemployment, there is the rise in an economic crisis which is bound to have repercussions on hunger, and when there is hunger, there will be malnutrition. The government has a clear-cut protocol, and they need to ramp that up," Enakshi Ganguly, co-founder of the HAQ Center for Child Rights, noted PTI.

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