HYDERABAD: Ever wondered how much do Members of Parliament think and intervene on matters concerning children -- the section of society who do not form their voting base and electorate?
A new study by an Indian professor S V Subramanian, professor of population health and geography, and research associate Rockli Kim, in Harvard’s T.H. Chan School has thrown light on how the children living in 543 constituencies of India fared in terms of their nutrition levels across four indices of Stunting, Underweight, Wasted and Anaemia.
The study titled, Estimating the Burden of Child Malnutrition Across Parliamentary Constituencies in India: A Methodological Comparison was studied to take a look at how the children living in 17 constituencies of Telangana have fared. On the whole, the State has done better in terms of average levels of Stunting, Underweight, Wasting, however a majority of its children were found to be affected with anaemia.
In terms of stunting, almost all constituencies are doing much better than the national average of 35.9 per cent. The worst performing constituency was Adilabad with stunting prevalent in 34.8 per cent of its children below five years of age. Stunting is a condition in children when they have a height lower than the average for their age and is a major indicator of poor nutrition levels.
Adilabad, an ST constituency with majority of its populace belonging to the tribal community, was lead by TRS party’s Godam Nagesh from 2014-19. Under his watch, Adilabad also continued to have a considerable part of its children below five years (34.1 per cent) in the underweight category which was higher than national average of 33.5 per cent.
A look at some of the famous constituencies like Nizamabad, which is under Kalvakuntla Kavitha, show a high number of children to be underweight.
At least 34.5 per cent -- above the national average -- of children under five were underweight. Nizamabad also had a notorious level of wastedness at 20.1 per cent -- which is another sign of malnutrition and is condition of children having a lower weight-for-height ratio.
In comparison, children in urban constituencies here have been in better health. With extremely less percentage of children experiencing stunting, underweight, wasted rates, the constituencies under Asaduddin Owaisi, Bandaru Dattatreya and Ch Malla Reddy performed the best, possibly due to a richer, urban populace.
While the lowest stunting was recorded in Secunderabad at 19.3 per cent, Hyderabad had one of the lowest percentages of underweight children at 23.2 per cent.