Half the children of Kolkata's slums underweight: Survey

Almost half of the children in the city's slums are underweight, a sample survey conducted by the Child Rights and You (CRY) said.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 03, 2015, 22:55 PM IST

Kolkata: Almost half of the children in the city's slums are underweight, a sample survey conducted by the Child Rights and You (CRY) said.

The sample survey conducted in 18 slums in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata also stated that child health and nutrition scenario in the urban slums is far from expectation.

The household sample survey called 'Are Children Getting A Healthy Start' for children between the age-group of one to six years revealed that 49 per cent of them living in Kolkata slums are underweight, while 33 per cent of these underweight children are severely malnourished.

As much as 51.7 per cent of the surveyed boys are undernourished, while for girls it is 47 per cent, it said.

The findings showed that 31 per cent do not get vitamin A supplement, 39 per cent have not undergone de-worming and 58 per cent do not have access to iron-folic supplement.

"Slums in the five metros do not show a positive trend with respect to child nutrition. While Chennai has the most number of children battling malnutrition in its slums with 62.2 per cent being underweight, Kolkata and Delhi slums are just midway in tackling with urban child malnutrition with 49 per cent and 50 per cent underweight children," the survey said.

Bangalore and Mumbai, however, fared slightly better with 33 per cent and 41 per cent child found to be underweight respectively, it added.

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 per cent among the five metros surveyed and 94 per cent of the surveyed children in Kolkata slums are found to be breastfed at birth or on the same day.