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It’s time to #PressForProgress for Sri Lanka’s women!

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: සිංහල | தமிழ்
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.    

International Women’s Day is always an important marker in my calendar and this year’s theme #PressForProgress couldn’t be more exciting.
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.    
 
What’s the urgency?
 
Simply put, Sri Lanka is trailing behind many countries in its development bracket when it comes to working women. 
 
Did you know that 214,298 women over the age of 15 are unemployed in Sri Lanka today?  Sri Lanka’s female labor force participation or FLFP rate has stubbornly remained in the mid-thirties for the last two decades; out of an estimated 7.3 million people who are considered ‘economically inactive’ 73.8 percent are women, while just 26.2 percent are men.
 
It is clear this challenge is too great for any ministry, development partner or corporate office.
 
But why do Sri Lankan women need to get to work?
 
Because this country’s prosperity depends on it!  Sri Lanka is getting older before getting rich. Without a labor force the country cannot be competitive nor can it deliver on basic services that require revenue to be generated.
 
So, the question is, what will it take to really deliver change for Sri Lanka’s women? What are the challenges? How can we help motivate those able to energize change that will benefit women?    
 
The World Bank is ready to join the government, private sector, development partners and the citizens of Sri Lanka in supporting tangible initiatives which address the realities on the ground. We are going to advocate widely.
 
So, let’s start with a few important announcements. We want to learn from you. Tell us where we should start, and what specific issues need attention. We want to know what your challenges are, and who inspires you most.

இலங்கையில் பெண்களின் முன்னேற்றத்திற்காக உழைப்பதற்கான காலம் இது!

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: English | සිංහල
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
இன்று மார்ச் 8ம் திகதி தொடக்கம் உலக வங்கியைச் சேர்ந்த நாம் ஆரம்பித்துள்ள இந்த வேலைத்திட்டத்தினூடாக  நாட்டின் அரசாங்கம், அபிவிருத்திப் பங்காளர்கள், தனியார் துறையினர் மற்றும் பொதுமக்களையும் இணைத்துக் கொண்டு எங்ஙனம் இலங்கைப் பெண்களின் நிலையை முன்னேற்றும் விடயத்தில் சாதகமான பெறுபேறுகளை உண்மையாகவே அடையமுடியும் எனப் பார்க்கின்றோம்.

சர்வதேசப் பெண்கள் தினம் ,எனது நாட்காட்டியில் எப்போதுமே முக்கியத்துவம் மிகுந்த நாளாகும். அந்தவகையில் 'முன்னேற்றத்திற்காக பணியாற்றுவோம்' #PressForProgress என்ற இவ்வருடத்திற்கான தொனிப்பொருள் பெரும் உற்சாகத்தைத் தருவதாக அமைந்துள்ளது என்றால் மிகையாகாது.
 
இன்று மார்ச் 8ம் திகதி தொடக்கம் உலக வங்கியைச் சேர்ந்த நாம் ஆரம்பித்துள்ள இந்த வேலைத்திட்டத்தினூடாக  நாட்டின் அரசாங்கம், அபிவிருத்திப் பங்காளர்கள், தனியார் துறையினர் மற்றும் பொதுமக்களையும் இணைத்துக் கொண்டு எங்ஙனம் இலங்கைப் பெண்களின் நிலையை முன்னேற்றும் விடயத்தில் சாதகமான பெறுபேறுகளை உண்மையாகவே அடையமுடியும் எனப் பார்க்கின்றோம்.
 
ஏன் இந்த அவசரம்
 
எளிமையாகக் கூறுவதென்றால், தொழில்புரியும் பெண்களைப் பொறுத்தமட்டில் இலங்கை அதனையொத்த அபிவிருத்தி வீச்சிற்குள் இருக்கின்ற பல நாடுகளுடன் நோக்குகையில்  பின்தங்கிய நிலையில் காணப்படுகின்றது. இலங்கையிலுள்ள 15 வயதிற்கு மேற்பட்ட பெண்களில் 214, 298 பெண்கள் தொழிலற்றவர்களாக இருக்கின்றனர் என்பது உங்களுக்குத் தெரியுமா? 
 
இலங்கையின் தொழிற்படையில் பெண்களின் பங்கேற்பு வீதமானது கடந்த இருதசாப்தங்களில் 30களின் மத்தியிலேயே முன்னேற்றமின்றிக் காணப்படுகின்றது.  பொருளாதார ரீதியாக வினைத்திறன் அற்றவர்கள் எனக் கருதப்படுபவர்களாக கணிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ள 7.3 மில்லியன் மக்களில் 73.8 சதவீதமானவர்கள் பெண்களாக காணப்படும் அதேவேளை ஆண்களின் எண்ணிக்கை 26.2 சதவீதமாகக் காணப்படுகின்றது.  

ම‍ෙය ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවට “දියුණුව පි‍ණිස වැඩ කිරීමට“ කාලයයි.

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Also available in: English | தமிழ்
 
Starting today, March 8, we at the World Bank are embarking on a year-long effort to rally the government, our development partners, the private sector and the public to see how we can really deliver results for Sri Lanka’s women.
මාර්තු 8වන දින, එනම් අද දින පටන් ලෝක බැංකු වේ අප සැම රජය, අපගේ සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, පුද්ගලික අංශය සහ මහජනතාව හා එක්ව, වසරක් මුළුල්ලේ කර්තව්‍යයන් ප‍ෙළ ගස්වමින් ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය කාන්තාව වෙත සැබැවින්ම ප්‍ර‍තිඵල හිමිකර ද‍ෙන්නේ ක‍ෙසේ දැයි විමසා බලන්න‍ෙමු.  

ජාත්‍යන්තර කාන්තා දිනය සෑම කලකම මාගේ දින දසුන‍ෙහි සුවිශේෂී සලකුණකි. ම‍ෙවර එහි තේමාව වන ‘#දියුණුව පිණිස වැඩ කරමු’ යන්න උද්යෝගය දනවන්නක් නොවේ ද?
මාර්තු 8වන දින, එනම් අද දින පටන් අප ලෝක බැංකුව‍ මගින් සමාරම්භය ලබන මෙම වැඩසටහන, රජය, අපගේ සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, පුද්ගලික අංශය සහ මහජනතාව හා එක්ව, වසරක් මුළුල්ලේ කර්තව්‍යයන් ප‍ෙළ ගස්වමින් ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය කාන්තාව වෙත සැබැවින්ම ප්‍ර‍තිඵල හිමිකර ද‍ෙන්නේ ක‍ෙසේ දැයි විමසා බලන්න‍ෙමු.

කඩිනම් අවශ්‍යතාවය කුමක් ද?

සරලව ගත් කල, සේවා නියුක්තික කාන්තාවන් අංශයෙන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ගමන් කරන්නේ එහි සංවර්ධන කලාපයේ අන‍ෙකුත් රටවලට පසුපසිණි.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වයස අවුරුදු 15ට වැඩි කාන්තාවන් අතුරින් 214,298 ප්‍ර‍මාණයක් විරැකියාව‍ෙන් පසුවන බව ඔබ දන්නවා ද? පසුගිය දශක දෙක මුළුල්ලේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කාන්තා ශ්‍ර‍ම බලකා සහභාගීත්වය සියයට තිස් ගණන්වල පවතින්නේ ගණනය කර ඇති “ආර්ථික වශයෙන් අක්‍රීය“ මිලියන 7.3ක ජන සංඛ්‍යාවක් අතුරින් 73.8% ප්‍ර‍මාණයක් කාන්තාවන් බව වාර්තා වන පසුබිමක ය. පුරුෂයන් විෂයෙයහි එය යන්තමින් 26.2%ක අගයකි.

ඕනෑම එක් අමාත්‍යංශයකට, සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවකුට හෝ කලාපීය කාර්යාලයකට මෙය අභිමුඛ විය නොහැකි අභියෝගයක් බවට අටුවා ටීකා අනවශ්‍ය ය.

නමුත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන් සේවයට එක් විය යුත්තේ ඇයි?

ඒ රටෙහි සෞභාග්‍යය ඒ මත පදනම් වන නිසා ය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පොහොසත් වීමට ප්‍ර‍ථමය‍ෙන් වියපත් වන රටකි. නිසි ශ්‍ර‍ම බලකායක් නොමැතිව රටට තරඟකාරී විය නොහැකි අතරම අපේක්ෂිත ආදායම ජනනය කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය මූලික සේවාවන් ලබා දීමට ද නොහැකි ය.

එසේ නම් ගැටළු වනුයේ, ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන්ට ව‍ෙනසක් ළඟා කරලනු පිණිස කුමක් අවශ්‍ය වේ ද? අභියෝගයන් කවරේ ද? කාන්තාවන්ට ප්‍ර‍තිලාභ හිමි වන අන්දමේ ව‍ෙනසකට ශක්තියක් වීමට හැකියාව සහිතව උද්යෝගීමත්ව සිටින්නන්ට අපගේ සහය ලබා දිය හැක්කේ ක‍ෙසේ ද?

ලෝක බැංකුව, රජය, පුද්ගලික අංශය, සංවර්ධන හවුල්කරුවන්, සහ ශ්‍රී ලාංකික පුරවැසියන් සමග අත්වැල් බැඳ ගනිමින් මිහිපිට සත්‍යයට ආමන්ත්‍ර‍ණය ක‍ෙර‍ෙන සැබෑ ප්‍රාරම්භයන්ට සහය වීමට සූදානමින් පසු වෙයි. අපි පුළුල් ලෙස උපදෙස් සැපයීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු.

ඉතින්, වැදගත් දැනුම් දීම් කිහිපයකින් පටන් ගනිමු. අපට ඔබග‍ෙන් ඉගනගැනීමට අවශ්‍යව ඇත. කියන්න, අප ආරම්භ කළ යුත්තේ කොතැනින් ද සහ කවර සුවිශේෂී  කරුණු කෙරෙහි අවධානයක් යොමු කළ යුතු ද කියා. ඔබට ඇති අභියෝග මෙන්ම ඔබව වැඩි වශයෙන්ම දිරි ගැන්වූයේ කවුරුන් ද යන්නත් අපට දැන ගැනීමට අවශ්‍යව ඇත.
 

Can cash transfers solve Bangladesh’s malnutrition?

Rubaba Anwar's picture
Silvi and her mother arrive with Silvi’s birth certificate to enroll into Jawtno. a cash transfer program aimed to help 600,000 poor families in Bangladesh access prenatal and child care.
Silvi and her mother arrive with Silvi’s birth certificate to enroll into Jawtno. a cash transfer program that aims to help 600,000 poor families in Bangladesh access prenatal and child care. Credit: World Bank


Silvi is eight months old. She lives in a remote village in one of the poorest regions of Bangladesh.
 
Her mother Maya often reflects on her pregnancy and worries about her daughter’s wellbeing as she recalls her morning sickness, the uncertain and painful birth, and the long nights at Silvi’s side as the baby lay wide awake wailing, fighting one illness after the other.
 
She remembers, too, the thrills of hearing Silvi giggle at the sound of her rattle, and when she began to crawl.
 
Despite the little joys that her baby brings to Maya, Silvi’s early childhood was marked with apprehension: Shouldn’t she be a little heavier? When will she learn to walk? Will she be healthy and intelligent enough to earn a decent living when she grows up? Or would she be handed down her parents’ poverty and get married like Maya had to, at only sixteen?
 
But with the right kind of support, Silvi can have a chance at a better life and bring her family out of poverty.
 
Growing evidence has shown that adequate nutrition before birth and the two years after – or in the first 1,000-days – has lasting effects on a child’s intelligence and brain development.
 
When they’re properly fed and exposed to learning, children can reach their full potential and break the poverty trap.
 
Thus, investing in early childhood nutrition and cognitive development (CNCD) is critical to curbing poverty in a country like Bangladesh, where 36 percent of children below the age of 5 are stunted —or too short for their age--, low birth weight is prevalent, and maternal nutrition remains poor.
 
Sadly, poor families like Maya’s are not utilizing services available to them.  

Incentives for cleaner cities in Nepal

Charis Lypiridis's picture
The "orange city" of Dhankuta, Nepal. Photo: World Bank
The "orange city" of Dhankuta, Nepal. Photo: World Bank


Cities across Nepal—and in the developing world—produce more waste than ever before, due to a spike in population and a surge in new economic activity and urbanization. Properly disposing and managing solid waste has thus become urgent for city municipalities.

Although collecting, storing, and recycling solid waste can represent up to 50 percent of a municipality’s annual budget, many local governments don’t collect enough revenue from waste management services to cover these costs.

As a result, landscapes and public spaces in Nepal’s urban centers are deteriorating. Less than half of the 700,000 tons of waste generated in Nepal’s cities each year is collected. Most waste is dumped without any regulation or oversight and several municipalities do not have a designated disposal site, leading to haphazard disposal of waste—often next to a river—further aggrevating the problem.

With urbanization rising, the costs of inaction are piling up and compromising people’s health and the environment. In most cases, the poor suffer the most from the resulting negative economic, environmental, and human health impacts.

Insuring India: States learn about health insurance from each other

Owen Smith's picture

India faces many challenges on the road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).  Almost two-thirds of total health spending is paid out-of-pocket by households, placing India among the top 10 countries in the world in this regard.  Recent global estimates that aim to measure country progress towards UHC also highlight India’s gaps in terms of service coverage. 



So how does a country achieve UHC? One possible answer might be to discuss broad health system paradigms, but quite another would be to talk about the nuts and bolts of implementing a specific program.  While the choice between paradigms is made, at most, once in a decade, figuring out how to implement a program happens every day.  For this, practitioner-to-practitioner learning is one of the best ways to help implementers make real progress on the road to UHC. 

The quest for a well-resourced holiday meal

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture



Holidays for me have always been about family and food. A time to relax, catch-up with loved ones and eat good food.  When it’s our turn to cook, my husband and I take time to plan the menu. A central part of our meals are vegetables and fresh fruits but we have also learnt over the years that a good meal needs fresh ingredients, all procured as close to the preparation of the meal as possible. 
 
Sri Lanka has not disappointed in its array of fruits and vegetables. I am still discovering the names of many; some of which I will never be able to pronounce for sure. Despite that, I love eating them! 
 
Amongst my favourites are papaya, mangoes and kankun, the last for which I share a passion with my two pet turtles. But getting these vegetables and fruits from the same supplier on a constant basis is a challenge. Even common produce like onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers can be discoloured or squishy – not at all appetizing or conducive for a salad or other such type of fresh dish.
 
The price, of course, is the same whatever the quality. Fresh produce can be expensive, and regularly buying a variety of fruits and vegetables does strain the budgets of many families in Sri Lanka. Needless to say, this shouldn’t be the case in a country with such rich soils and plentiful sunshine.  
 
The question of access to fresh and healthy food goes beyond our holiday tables. According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 5 premature deaths in Sri Lanka are due to a non-communicable disease (NCD) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer.[1] Tobacco use, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity have all been identified as risk factors.

Rural Bangladeshis filming their way to better nutrition

Wasiur Rahman Tonmoy's picture
Local communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts have created awareness videos to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods, including indigenous foods, threatened by packaged food products with low nutritional value
Local communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh have created awareness videos to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods, including indigenous foods, threatened by packaged food products with low nutritional value.

In Bangladesh, chronic and acute malnutrition are higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) thresholds for public health emergencies—it is one of 14 countries where eighty percent of the world’s stunted children live.
Food insecurity remains a critical concern, especially in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
 
Located in the southeastern part of Bangladesh, CHT is home to 1.7 million people, of whom, about a third are indigenous communities living in the hills. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, but farming is difficult because of the steep and rugged terrain.
 
With support from the South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI), the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) conducted a food and nutrition analysis which finds that more than 60% of the population in CHT migrates during April – July when food becomes harder to procure.
 
Based on these findings, MJF helped raise awareness through nutrition educational materials and training.  The foundation staff also formed courtyard theatres with local youth to deliver nutrition messages, expanded food banks with nutritious and dry food items, and popularized the concept of a “one dish nutritious meal” through focal persons or “nutrition agents” among these communities.

আমার সন্তান যেন থাকে মাছে-ভাতে

Susmita Dasgupta's picture
 
A mother feeds her daughter in Bangladesh. Image courtesy: The World Bank


বাঙালির  চিরন্তন প্রার্থনা তার সন্তানের মুখে একটু মাছ তুলে দেয়া।  প্রকৃতির দাক্ষিণ্যে বাংলাদেশে ধান, ফল, আর মাছের অভাব ছিল না।  তাই বাঙালির  সহজাত জ্ঞান ছিল যে মাছ সুপ্রাপ্য, মাছ সুস্বাধু , মাছ পুষ্টি দায়ক আর শিশুর জন্য মাছ পরিপূর্ণ খাবার। মাছ বাংলাদেশের সর্বত্র ছিল সহজলভ্য। নানা ধরণের মাছ, ছোট মাছ  অনেকটা যেন নিজে ধরা দিতো, মাছ আর কেবল শুধুমাত্র ভালো আর পুষ্টিকর খাবার থাকেনি, বাঙালীর ভালোবাসা আর গর্বের বিষয় হয়েছে। বাংলাদেশের সর্বত্র, অধিকাংশ পরিবারে মাছ সামাজিকতার অঙ্গ হয়েছে, আত্মীয়জন মাছ পরিবেশন না করলে মনক্ষুন্ন হয়েছে।  সব বাঙালিই ছোট বয়সে উপদেশ শুনেছে “মাছ খাও না হলে বড় হবে না” “মাছ খাও, মাথায় বুদ্ধি হবে” বা “এই মাছ খাও, পরীক্ষার ফল ভালো হবে” ।

আজকাল কিন্তু আর মাছ নিয়ে অত কথা শুনতে পাওয়া যায় না।  অবশ্যই এ বছর ইলিশ বেশি না কম হলো, এবার রপ্তানি হবে না আমদানি হবে; এরকম খবর দুচারটি খবরের কাগজে ছাপে।  কারণ এগুলো সব দামি মাছ। খবর গুলো হয়তো মাছ নিয়ে নয়, মাছের দাম নিয়ে। ঢাকা অথবা অন্যান্য শহরাঞ্চলে নতুন দারুণ খাবারের দোকান হয়েছে; দেশিবিদেশী নানাবিধ আয়োজনের খাবার পাওয়া যায়।  কিন্তু একটু ভালো মাছ-ভাত কোথায় পাওয়া যাবে, খুঁজতে হলে অনেকদিন অনেক পথে হাটঁতে হবে। যারা শহুরে  মধ্যবিত্ত, অথবা গ্রামাঞ্চলে উচ্চবিত্ত, তাদের অনেকের বাড়িতে বাচ্চারা দামি খাবার খায়, কিন্তু মাছ খাবে না।

অথচ বাংলাদেশের অসংখ্য শিশু অপুষ্টির শিকার। সরকার আর ইউনিসেফের নতুন রিপোর্ট " প্রগতির পথে বিবরণী " জানিয়েছে যে, পরিসংখ্যান মতে ৩০-৪০ শতাংশ শিশু এদেশে অপুষ্টিতে ভুগছে। কেবল গরিবের সন্তান নয়, মধ্যবিত্ত পরিবারের ছেলে মেয়েরাও প্রয়োজনীয় পুষ্টিকর খাবার আর পরিপালনের বাইরে। প্রশ্ন জাগে, চিরন্তন বিশ্বাস যে মাছ শিশুদের পুষ্টি যোগায়, তার থেকে আমরা দূরে সরে যাচ্ছি না তো? শিশু স্বাস্থ্যের সাথে জড়িত মায়েদের স্বাস্থ্য। মায়েরা মাছ খাচ্ছেন তো? এই সব ভাবনা চিন্তা নিয়ে বিশ্বব্যাংকের নতুন একটা গবেষণা প্রকাশিত হলো সম্প্রতি। বাংলাদেশে সামাজিক অর্থনৈতিক প্রসঙ্গে মাছ খাওয়া ও শিশু স্বাস্থ্য (The Socioeconomics of Fish Consumption and Child Health in Bangladesh)।

 বাংলাদেশের নিজস্ব জনসংখ্যাতাত্ত্বিক ও স্বাস্থ্য জরিপ (Demographic Health Survey) প্রায় প্রতি চার বছর পর হয়। এরকম ৫ টি জরিপের ( ২০০০, ২০০৪, ২০০৭, ২০১১ এবং ২০১৪ সাল) মোট ৩৬৪৯১ টি বর্ণনার সংখ্যাতাত্ত্বিক প্রতিলিপি (statistical regression) বিশ্লেষণ করা হয়েছে বিশ্বব্যাংকের এই গবেষণায়।  জানা যাচ্ছে যে, দেশের উন্নতির সাথে শিশু মৃত্যুর সংখ্যা কমেছে। পরিবারের আর্থিক উন্নতির সাথে শিশুর খাদ্য তালিকায় সর্ব মোট মাছ , মাংস আর  ডিমের অনুপাত বেড়েছে নজর কাড়ার মতো। কিন্তু আর্থিক উন্নতির সাথে মাছের  অনুপাত শিশুর খাদ্যে প্রত্যাশিত সমানুপাতে বাড়েনি।

গবেষণায় একটি অপ্রত্যাশিত ফল হলো যে পরিবারের প্রধানত: মায়েদের উচ্চশিক্ষার সাথে মাছ খাওয়ানোর প্রবণতা কমেছে। সব মিলিয়ে ডিম ও মাংসের তুলনায় বেশি পুষ্টিকর, উপকারী ও সস্তা হওয়া সত্ত্বেও, পারিবারিক ও আর্থিক সাচ্ছল্যের সাথে শিশুর খাবারে মাছের অনুপাত কমেছে। 

গবেষণাটি দেখিয়েছে যে, শিশু জন্মের আগে ও পরে মায়েরা একটু বেশি মাছ খেলে জন্মের প্রথম বছরে শিশুর মৃত্যুর আশংকা কমে যায়, আর জ্বর, কাশি, পেটের অসুখেও অপেক্ষেকৃত কম ভোগে শিশুরা।  বর্ষাকালে ও বর্ষার ঠিক পরে মাছ যখন সুলভ আর সহজপ্রাপ্য, তখন নিতান্ত নিম্নবিত্ত পরিবারের খাবারের তালিকায় অনুপাতে একটু বেশি হলেও স্থান পায় মাছ। ধারণা করা হচ্ছে এই সময়ে মায়েরাও মাছ খান। ফলত : বর্ষা অথবা তার একটু পরে সদ্যজাত বাচ্চাদের রোগ প্রতিরোধ ক্ষমতা বাড়ে এবং মৃত্যুহার কমে।  আর এর  উল্টো ঘটনা  ঘটে শুকনা মৌসুমে, যখন মাছ অতটা সহজ প্রাপ্য ও সুলভ হয় না। এবং মাছ খাওয়া কমে যায়।  সদ্যজাত শিশুদের রোগ বাড়ে, মৃত্যু হার বাড়ে।

বিশ্বব্যাংকের এই গবেষণার ফলাফল যেন কিছুটা ভুলে যাওয়া ঐতিহ্য মনে করিয়ে দেবার প্রচেষ্টা। শিশু স্বাস্থ্যের খাতিরে মাছের যোগান বাড়াতে হবে। বিশেষত: শিক্ষিত মায়েদের মাতৃ মঙ্গল শিক্ষায় জানাতে হবে মাছ খাওয়া কত প্রয়োজন। কেবল শিশুর খাবার নয়, অন্তঃসত্ত্বা মায়েদের বছর ধরে খেতে হবে আরো একটু বেশী মাছ। গবেষণাটি আশা করে যে শিশুর অপুষ্টির অন্যতম সমাধান হবে বাঙ্গালীর চির পরিচিত মাছে ভাতে। আর ভাবতে ভালো লাগে যে সবার প্রার্থনা যেন হয়, কেবল সন্তান নয়, জননীরাও যেন সবাই থাকেন মাছে - ভাতে। 

 
ডেভিড হুইলার , সুস্মিতা দাশগুপ্ত, তাপস পাল , গোলাম মোস্তফা      

Tackling India’s hidden hunger

Edward W. Bresnyan's picture
India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)
With India’s rapidly growing dairy industry, large-scale milk fortification of Vitamins A and D is a robust vehicle for increasing micronutrients intake across the population. Credit: India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)  
Micronutrient deficiencies, especially Vitamin A and D, are prevalent in India. 
 
Yet, these deficiencies -- often referred to as ‘hidden hunger’ -- go largely unnoticed and affect large populations.
 
Night blindness, a condition afflicting millions of pregnant women and children, stems from low intake of foods rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin A.
 
Budget constraints limit access to nutrient-rich foods for many families, who are unaware or unable to afford a nutritious diet.
 
National programs help supplement diets with Iron and Vitamin, but their scope is too narrow to adequately address these deficiencies.
 
 India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)  
Food fortification is a relatively simple, powerful and cost-effective approach to curb micronutrient deficiencies. It is in general socially accepted and requires minimal change in existing food habits. Credit: Credit: India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)


Fortified Milk Helps Increase Vitamins Intake
 
When fortified with vitamin A and D, milk, which remains a staple for many Indians, can help alleviate dietary deficiencies when supplementation is not available.

Food fortification is a relatively simple, powerful and cost-effective approach to curb micronutrient deficiencies. It is in general socially accepted and requires minimal change in existing food habits.

The process is inexpensive and costs about 2 paisa per liter or about one-tenth of a cent.  And because it only adds a fraction of daily recommended nutrients, the process is considered safe.

For these reasons, food fortification has been successfully scaled up in some emerging economies.

However, except for salt fortification with iodine, India has not yet achieved large-scale food fortification. 

With India’s rapidly growing dairy industry, large-scale milk fortification of Vitamins A and D is a robust vehicle for increasing micronutrients intake across the population.

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