The fight against hidden hunger
Prioritizing early childhood nutrition is key to ensuring India's development rests on strong and steady shoulders
India faces an invisible public health crisis in the form of widespread maternal and child undernutrition. One-third of Indian women (of reproductive age) are undernourished, and close to 60 million children (under five years of age) are at risk, that is, they are either stunted (low height-for-age) or wasted (low weight-for-height). Women and adolescent girls face the added burden of societal discrimination, which manifests in their unequal access to food, healthcare and resources. As a result, about 42% of Indian women are underweight when they begin pregnancy—compared to about 15% in African countries.