41.6% of children in Gujarat suffered from stunted growth: Unicef findings


A nationwide survey by United Nations agency for children Unicef has shown that 10.1% children in Gujarat was grossly underweight, while 41.6% of children suffered from stunted growth.

The findings of the Rapid Survey on Children carried out the survey involving over one lakh households across India.

Its findings have been accepted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The findings, as reported by Times of India, said that over 41.6% children in Gujarat were stunted and 18.3% severely stunted for their age.

The report surveyed 1.05 lakh families and met 2.10 people including 90,000 children in the age group of 0 to 4 years.

The revelation has come as a stark reminder how malnutrition continued to plague families in Gujarat, otherwise billed as a model of development across India.

Prime Minister Narendra actively sold the concept of the so-called Gujarat model during his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections and promised to replicate the model across the country.

Gujarat government, particularly the chief minister Anandiben Patel – has refused to accept the findings arguing that there had been a sharp decline in the number of malnourished children in the state.

In a reply tabled in the state assembly, the government had said that there were 1.97 lakh malnourished and 24,762 SAM children in 46 talukas of five districts in the state – Banaskantha, Patan, Navsari, Junagadh and Kheda.

The survey also found that 33.6% of children were underweight for their age, with 10.1% being categorised as ‘severely underweight’. The number of severely underweight children is 11.3% in rural areas and 8.2% in urban areas. Among scheduled tribes, the proportion of severely underweight children is 13.8%.

Separately, the socio-economic review 2015-16 had revealed that 1.47 lakh of the 43 lakh children at anganwadis in the state were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.