Around 66 per cent of children under six years in Delhi slums are malnourished, more than sub-Saharan Africa where the figure stands comparatively lower at 38 per cent, a survey released on Thursday said.
“This is a dangerous trend and has major implications on how Delhi’s future citizens will develop,” said the report Situational Analysis of Young Children in Delhi.
The country’s malnourishment figure is around 40 per cent.
The study, based on a survey in 22 slum clusters in Delhi ,also said the number of malnourished children is higher at construction sites and among deprived, including Muslims and Scheduled Castes.
This is mainly because of poor health of mothers.
“Just 10 per cent of poor women are accessing the nutrition services under Integrated Child Development Scheme,” the report said, adding that the scheme covers just 10 per cent of the poor women.
Most women who work in unorganised sector do not get maternity leave and have to pay a huge price for staying home to take care of their child.
Even in the national capital, the birth registration rate in slums is less than 20 per cent and a large number of childbirths take place at home.
The report said vulnerable sections such as street children, beggars, children of sex workers, children of migrant labourers and poor disabled children are not covered under most government schemes.
“Delhi government spends a meagre Rs 550 per child per annum on promoting the health of children from poor communities,”
the report said.
Another area of distress highlighted in the report was the number of people below poverty line having doubled over the years.