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Praja Foundation questions BMC about 84 per cent drop in underweight children in civic-run schools

According to the Right To Information (RTI) data, underweight children have dipped drastically by 84 per cent from 73,112 children in 2016-17 to 11,720 in 2017-18

Praja Foundation questions BMC about 84 per cent drop in underweight children in civic-run schools
SHARES

According to Praja Foundation’s latest report, a non-government organisation, nearly 10 per cent children studying in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools suffer from dental problems or skin-related infections even as issues of worms and vitamin deficiency have reduced among the school children.

The NGO compiled the data through Right to Information (RTI), which showcased that the number of underweight children have dipped drastically by 84 per cent from 73,112 children in 2016-17 to 11,720 in 2017-18. In order to obtain the result, more than 2.3 lakh children were screened.

Nitai Mehta, trustee of Praja said that the sudden dip is a huge discrepancy in data. “How is it possible that the BMC managed to achieve such a huge reduction in underweight cases?” Mehta added.

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As per the data obtained through RTI, while 37 per cent children studying between Class I to V were underweight from 2015 till 2017, the figure dropped to 5 per cent this year. M (East) ward, comprising Govandi, continues to hold the highest burden of underweight children with 24,244 diagnosed in 2016-17 and 2,215 in 2017-18.

According to Milind Mhaske, project director at Praja, said that the BMC does not screen children in junior and senior kg for weight. He added that undernutrition is best tackled at an early age, despite that no health check-up is done in that phase.

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The data also showed that highest burden of illness amongst children was in the skin and dental issues. In 2017-18, 21,240 had skin problems and 23,444 had dental problems.

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