The book revisits the causes of persisting under nutrition in India, but moves away from the usual focus on women and children to a broader view of the entire population. It estimates the economic losses resulting from ignoring under nutrition in the adult working population and questions the current narrow focus of nutrition interventions, suggesting that a family-based approach may provide quicker results and long-term sustainability. It compares the best and worst performing states in the country to glean learnings from both successes and failures and emphasizes the need to hand over the ownership of nutrition outcomes from the state to the community and family for more sustainable results. The book is organized in three sections: Part 1 details the nutrition status of the population, regional variations in nutrition outcomes and government response in terms of interventions. Part 2 reviews issues and concerns like gender discrimination, poor child nutrition status, ineffective implementation of government programmes in the field and the possible impacts of emerging issues like climate change. Part 3 seeks solutions from both international and country experiences.
Nira Ramachandran is an independent development consultant and Director, Research and Training, Bhoovigyan Vikas Foundation (Earth Care Foundation), New Delhi, India. This book was written during her tenure as Senior Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) at the Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi.