Half of Indian kids are malnourished: NGO report

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New Delhi, Oct 16: According to a new report, half of Indian children under the age of six are malnourished and the country ranked lower than Bangladesh and Nepal on the state of hunger.

A report by ActionAid, an international NGO said India stood at the 22nd spot amongst a list of 51 countries, like Australia, Britain, the US, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Speaking on the report, Anne Jellema, ActionAid's international policy director, said, "It is the role of the state and not the level of wealth, that determines progress on hunger."

Babu Matthew, country director for ActionAid India, said, "The dark side of India's economic growth has been that the excluded social groups have been further marginalised, compounding their hunger, malnutrition and even leading to starvation deaths."

The report also said India ranks sixth among developing nations in terms of legal framework for addressing hunger and food rights. Brazil is ranked first under this parameter.

Amar Joyti Nayak, food rights head of the NGO, said, "Implementation remains a massive challenge in the absence of recognition of rights of the poor."

"In a year when poor are reeling under crop loss due to droughts and floods in India, focus must be on supporting agriculture, especially subsistence and women farmers," Nayak added.

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