Cutting across party lines, a group of young lawmakers are vociferously campaigning to root out the menace of malnutrition in the country.
Working under the banner of 'Citizen Alliance', the lawmakers also have the support of popular figures and leading personalities from the fields of films, art, corporates, media and voluntary bodies.
These lawmakers feel malnutrition is a burning problem, since every second child in the country, according to a National Family Health Survey, suffers from a lack of adequate nourishment.
"We are not trying to get political mileage out of it. We want to focus on the issue of malnutrition which is very serious because about 46 to 47 per cent of the children in India are malnourished," said Jay Panda, a lawmaker of the Biju Janta Dal of Orrisa.
The lawmakers have already traversed through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa and are now in Bihar. They are busy creating awareness among the masses on the need to ameliorate the scourge of malnutrition.
Shahnawaz Hussain, a lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, "Lawmakers from Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have come here. It is a group of young MPs who are working on this. We want to spread the message that lawmakers do not just fight among themselves but also work together for a cause."
The lawmakers contend that a healthy nation needs a healthy child population.
According to Unicef, every year 2.1 million children in India die before celebrating their fifth birthday. Malnutrition is the primary reason behind it, while other factors like lack of health facilities and hygiene compound the problem.
According to the Unicef, in the last seven years, the malnourishment level among Indian children has gone down by merely one percent from 47 per cent to 46 per cent.