Almost half of children in Kolkata slums underweight: CRY

Kolkata, Nov 3 (IANS) Nearly half of the children in the slums of the eastern metropolis are underweight, a survey said on Tuesday, drawing attention to the dismal nutrition scenario in urban slums.

A household sample survey called ‘Are Children Getting A Healthy Start’ conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY) for children between the age-group of one to six years reveals 49 percent of the surveyed children living in Kolkata slums are underweight.

As much as 33 percent of these underweight children are severely malnourished.

As much as 51.7 percent of the surveyed boys are undernourished, while for girls its 47 percent, the study said.

The findings showed that 31 percent don’t get Vitamin A supplement, 39 percent don’t have de-worming done and 58 percent don’t have access to iron-folic supplement.

The survey was carried out in Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai in addition to Kolkata.

However, with respect to indicators like birth registration and breastfeeding, Kolkata does “fairly well”, the survey said.

The city has the second highest birth registration rate with a satisfactory 85.1 percent among the five metros surveyed and 94 percent of the surveyed children in Kolkata slums are found to be breastfed at birth or on the same day.

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