Malnutrition grips handloom labourers' children in Varanasi

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Dhannipur (Uttar Pradesh), May 14 : Extreme poverty has pushed the people of Dhannipur village in Varanasi District towards a state of malnutrition. Handloom workers in the village say that the mechanization of looms, besides various other factors has significantly decreased their chances of getting work, leaving them and their children under nourished.

Rustan Ali, a handloom worker and father of two infants, says even procuring milk has become a major challenge.

"We are not able to earn and save enough to satiate our hunger, leave apart the medication. On an income of a mere 50 rupees, we try to accommodate our food requirements. Moreover instead of a rise, the income is constantly falling," said Ali.

Doctors like S. P. Singh say that apart from destitution, illiteracy, multiple pregnancies and inadequate birthing gap between children, adds up to the woes of the poor handloom workers.

In an attempt to break this vicious circle of malnutrition, Dr. Singh informed that during his visits to these villages, the medical team imparts health education to all.

According to Unicef, every year 2.1 million children in India die before celebrating their fifth birthday. Malnutrition is the primary reason behind it, while other factors like lack of health facilities and hygiene compound the problem.

According to the Unicef, in the last seven years, the malnourishment levels among Indian children have gone down merely by one percent from 47 per cent to 46 per cent.

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