Need of a comprehensive nutrition policy

Proper nutrition of the people, especially the children , pregnant and lactating mothers in any country is one of the indicators of its levels of prosperity . In India, we need one urgently, if not desperately, irrespective of surveys made by various ‘World Bodies and Organisations’ which are , many a time, exaggerated if not motivated. There are , however, reports of deaths taking place in the country if not due to absolute starvation but because of insufficient nutritional contents of the diets. Promoting mid-day meal in schools especially in our rural areas is not only an admission of the need to arrange proper required nutritional levels among the children who are the nation builders of tomorrow but one of the ways at micro levels to treat a portion of the problem.
Since today’s India is self-sufficient in food production , the problem, however, is how to reach both rural and urban areas in providing quality diet full of reasonably required nutritional contents which among other factors is dependent on individual money incomes too. While the need is to make a comparative study of the increased levels of consumption of protein rich diet and other nutrients among the people over the years and the reasons thereof, it should be on the priority of the Government to devise means how to increase the levels further for which framing of a comprehensive full-fledged National Nutrition Policy is a must . That could be a vision document to be followed in letter and spirit.
One most important thing which these motivated surveys are not touching and which both the central and State Governments ignore, is the number of ‘silent’ and ‘slow’ deaths caused due to increased levels of adulteration in basic eatables in our country and the need to formulate a stringent anti adulteration policy. The problem comprises, therefore, purchasing power, access to pure un-adulterated eatables, availability of quality potable water and medical facilities too and not merely a nutrition policy in itself.