Key Messages

The data on malnutrition, stunting, and wasting in children across states in India emerging from the first phase of the National Family Health Survey 5 (2019-2020) is Dickensian in scope and sentiment. The spectre of hunger and starvation, worsened by the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent loss of livelihoods, is spawning Oliver Twists, who subsist on thin gruels, with little nutrition thrown in.

Hunger pangs on the rise