Meghalaya along with Assam, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have scores below the country’s average in terms of health, nutrition and cognitive growth of children in the 0-6 years age group.
This was revealed in the State of the Young Child in India report released by Mobile Creches, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) recently.
The Young Child Outcomes Index and the Young Child Environment Index are parts of the report.
Based on ranking and values on the Young Child Outcome Index (YCOI), the report named Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram to be among the top performers.
The report calls for an increase in public spending on children for child nutrition, healthcare, education and other necessary protection services.
The report also said that India spent Rs1,723 per child in 2018 on expenses towards child nutrition, healthcare, education and other necessary protection services. “This is insufficient and fails to reach the entire eligible population. Therefore, the need of the hour is to Increase in public spending on children,” the report said.
According to the report, the funds allocated under Ministry of Women and Child Development is increasing day by day. However, out of the 159 million children under six years of age, the ICDS covers only 71.9 million.
Young Child Outcome Index measures health, cognitive growth and nutrition. The index measures child outcomes based on stunting, infant mortality rate and net attendance in primary school.
The Young Child Environment Index helps to understand policy and environment enablers that influence a child wellbeing.
The policy and environment enabler used in framing the index are poverty alleviation, education, strengthening primary health care, safe water supply and promotion of gender equity.