Half of slum children in Delhi underweight: Study

New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) Half of the children residing in slums here are underweight, a study released by NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) showed on Tuesday.

According to the survey on the status of health, nutrition and education of children below the age of six years in slums here, 25.6 percent of the 50.2 percent underweight children are severely underweight.

Only 31 percent of the children under the age of three in the capital received at least one vaccination, while 45 percent were stunted, the survey called ‘Are Children Getting A Healthy Start’ said.

It also highlighted the issue of gender imbalance as 25 percent girls received at least one dose of vaccination compared to 39 percent boys.

The study was conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

The study highlighted that 62.2 percent of the children in slums in Chennai were underweight, while Kolkata and Mumbai slums have 49 and 41 percent underweight children respectively. In Bengaluru, 33 percent children were found to be underweight.

CRY’s regional director (north) Soha Moitra said: “Early childhood, spanning from birth to the age of six years, is the crucial period when the foundation of cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development, language and personality are laid.”

Soha emphasised on the need for nutrition security like immunization and vitamins supplements for such children.

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