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NHRC takes note of malnutrition deaths in Mumbai

The commission took the view after wide media coverage alleging that at least 16 children aged under six died due to malnutrition and related illnesses from April, in Shivaji Nagar, Govandi.

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Taking suo motu cognisance of deaths of 16 children due to malnutrition in a Mumbai slum, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the health ministry and chief secretary of Maharashtra and directed them to submit a detailed report.

The commission took the view after wide media coverage alleging that at least 16 children aged under six died due to malnutrition and related illnesses from April, in Shivaji Nagar, Govandi.

According to the report, 40-60% of the city’s nearly 7.3 lakh slum children up to the age of four are malnourished.

The report also alleged that the scale of malnutrition in Mumbai suggests a failure in the delivery of government services and particularly of 35 years of integrated Child Development Scheme — the Centre’s primary means of addressing malnutrition countrywide among children up to six years and pregnant and lactating women.

According to the state government’s data, 3.5% of Greater Mumbai’s slum children under six die every year because of poor nutrition and increased risk of infections.

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