Malnutrition and child mortality are interrelated. Undernutrition is considered to be a prevalent cause of death among children especially those residing in the tribal regions. Vastav Kuposhanache is an in-depth and thought-provoking book written by Dr. Deepak Sawant that highlights the condition of tribal population in the interior of Maharashtra that is plagued by the evil of undernourishment. Dr. Deepak Sawant is a writer and member of Maharashtra’s Legislative Council representing Shiv Sena. In the year 2014, he was appointed Maharashtra’s cabinet minister with the portfolio of Public Health and Welfare Affairs. In this book, the writer has splendidly put across the real scenario in these regions through the story of Kadambari, a worker who lives in Melghat.
Malnutrition is one of the biggest tragedies of human civilization. Over 1/3rd of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Deficiencies in nutrition not only lead to long-term damage for the individuals but affects the society as well. Socio-economic status, poverty, and demographics are reasoned to be prime causes for malnutrition. In Maharashtra, the areas dominated by tribal population are noted to be the worst affected ones. These include areas of Melghat, Palghar, Peth, Surgana, Akkalkuva, that have since years witnessed an increase in mortality rates among children and mothers due to undernourishment.
This book lays emphasis on the reality of malnutrition. It also stresses on other aspects such as low productivity, low pay, child marriage, early motherhood, and lack of nutritious food during pregnancy that play an equal role in fanning this evil. The story is crafted in a fictional manner with inclusion of dialogues that give a real life feel to it. The book also provides important abbreviations as well as a brief explanation of customs which are followed by tribal population. Certainly, this book can be called as an eye-opener by Dr. Deepak Sawant that tactfully elucidates the reality of malnutrition thereby reinstating in the minds of the readers the very need to fight against this evil.