The state of Rajasthan reels under poverty and backward tag and its marginalised population solely depend upon food and nutrition entitlements mandated under The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. Despite numerous attractive features, Rajasthan has not done much improvement in its health and nutrition indicators. With 31.8% children under 5 years of children stunted and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) as high as 30.3 (Source – NFHS), Rajasthan continues to be one of the bottom five states of the country.

Mothers who received full antenatal care (ANC) is 9.7%.Breastfeeding children age 6-23 months receiving an adequate diet is 8.4% and the percentage of children between 6-8 months with minimum acceptable diets is 30.1%. 46.8% of women and 60.3% children are anaemic in the state. Similarly, anaemia has bearing on productivity.

There is a rising obesity among the men and women. 14.1% adult women and 13.2% adult men are obese. Good sanitation, hygiene and safe drinking water have a bearing on good health and nutrition. Strangely, 45% households in Rajasthan are using improved sanitation facility.

Different studies show high prevalence of undernutrition, worm infections, skin infection and respiratory infections, including tuberculosis, filariasis, back pain and micronutrient deficiency disorders like anaemia were widespread among the tea garden labourers.

NFHS fact sheet IMR Stunting
NFHS 3 65 43.7% (under 5 children)
NFHS 4 41 39.1% (under 5 children)
NFHS 5 30.3 31.8% (under 5 children)

(Source – NFHS)

Good nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system, higher order cognitive ability, growth and productivity and achieving demographic dividend. Rajasthan’s perpetual poverty and inequity can much be attributed to its malnutrition and food insecurity.