As per the details provided by the state government to different starred questions raised by Congress MLAs, out of the total 1,42,142 malnourished children, 1,18,041 are underweight and 24,101 children are with “very low weight”.
Although marriage before 18 years is illegal in India, the 2016 National Family and Health Survey (NFHS)-4 revealed that 27 per cent of girls are married before their 18th birthday and further, 31 per cent of married Indian women give birth by the age of 18.
Between April and June 2017, the school of health systems studies at TISS surveyed 375 tribal hutments with children aged under six, including 166 boys and 209 girls, in Vikramgad block of Palghar district.
For a country that aims to be a regional power, the data on child nutrition confirms that the situation is abysmal. Save for Bihar, six of the seven states with the highest incidence of stunting, for example, are ruled by the BJP or the BJP and its allies – Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar.