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Letter to the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi on Malnutrition

Rohit Prajapati, Dr. Trupti Shah, and Dr. Nandini Manjrekar
C/o 37 Patrakar Colony,
Tandalja Road, Post: Akota,
Vadodara 390 020, Gujarat
Phone/Fax No: +91-265-2320399
Email: [email protected][email protected][email protected]
By Fax and Email
30 August 2012

Shri Narendrabhai Modi
The Chief Minister of Gujarat
Government of
1st Block, 5th Floor, New Sachivalaya,
Gandhinagar – 382 010.

Subject: Malnutrition in Gujarat: Your statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Dear Shri Modi,

In an interview to the you, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, made a statement on the issue of malnutrition in the state that “Gujarat is by and large a vegetarian state. And secondly, Gujarat is also a middle-class state. The middle-class is more beauty conscious than health conscious that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight. She’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat’.”

We would like to know whether this statement was based on any research study that examined whether is related to lifestyle issues. We ask you to share the findings of this study with the people of Gujarat since available data portrays a grim scenario. The Human Development Report of 2011 indicates that  Gujarat is the worst among the high per-capita states in the country in fighting malnutrition, even lower than the ‘less developed’ states of Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam. 44.6% of children in Gujarat below the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition, 41% are underweight, and nearly 70% are anaemic. More than half the women in Gujarat (55%) also suffer from anaemia.

We hope that you are making such a statement based on some study done either by you or by your government or by any reputed institute or scholars. We request you to share the copy of such study because we are absolutely in disagreement with you on this issue.

Malnutrition is directly related to issues of livelihood and well-being, which are the foremost indicators of development, which you as Chief Minister take credit for having spearheaded in the state of Gujarat. You and your government has to take responsibility for the factors that have led to these appalling statistics —  where almost half the children do not even have access to milk — through pursuing a development model in aggressive promotion of privatisation and consequent immiseration of the poor. It is shocking that you should attribute this to the state being largely ‘middle-class’ and vegetarian and obsession with body image among girls. These statements are not only completely lacking in fact but also reflects an amazing callousness and trivialisation of the real issues of the people in the state you govern, especially women and girls, for whom access to livelihoods, education, healthcare and survival itself is a matter of everyday struggle.

In the absence of any substantive data that indicates otherwise, it is morally incumbent on you as Chief Minister, to apologise to the people, and especially women and girls of the state, for the disrespect you have shown them by making these trivial statements on such a grave issue.

Rohit Prajapati

Trupti Shah

Nandini Manjrekar

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Comments (12)

  1. Neo-lib chieftains in their fascist imaginations would believe that people are fucked up to take any stupid idea, if characteristically pissed on with a flavour of misogyny.

  2. The definition of Secularism is really funny in my country. Without going into controversy, Narendra Modi is the fittest person to lead the country. Though I do not like the party he belongs to, neither any other, Nitish Kumar,Akhilesh Singh are two C.M who stand out giving us hope of prosperity, though in a snail`s pace..

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  4. […] Letter to the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi on Malnutrition ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponTumblrPrintEmailRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a Comment by kracktivist on September 30, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights Tagged Below Poverty Line, discrimination, Gujarat, Human Development Report, Human Rights, India, Narendra Modi, Public Distribution System, State, Wall Street Journal […]

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  10. Dear sir
    hu godhra rhu 6u, ,me tamne distub kria tena mate hu mafi magu 6u, ,pan maro etlo problm 6e ke mari society na raheso society ma road banava mate nagar palicama jay 6e pan tai na prmukh,kai pan amri rajuyat sabhdta nae,ame calecter nd amri society ma g.a.b na thabla khsed va nd road banava mate letter lakhio 6e pan koe reply madio nathe. .
    Jethe mari etli tamne request 6e tame a mate purtu dhyn rakhi kam kri apva vinati 6e

  11. Dear sir
    hello sir how r u?
    Plz distup you,,but plz my society people have very nerour for godhra nagarpalica bcz they are always contc nd tell to prmukh that plz road make nd g.a.b said to thablm will put out of road nd terras. .both are did not listen our complins. So plz request to u plz plz solve our problm,
    thnx u sir

  12. Subhash v. Humbal

    dear sir.

    how are you sir. junagadh dist. Na bhesan taluka na sardarpur gam na up sarpanch na “”jay garvi gujarat”.

    mari vinanti e hati k amara gam ni prathmik school ma mukvama aavel computer na operator bahar gam na hovathi teo satat ger hajar rahel chha. Aavi nondh gam na sarpanch, up sarpanch ane gam loko ne school na vidhyarthi ane tena valio taraf thi aavel chha. To amari vinanti e chha k school na opertaor tarike gam na j koi sthanik computer na janka nir nimnuk karva ane nava shatrani sharuat pahela koi pagla leva vinanti.

    jay garvi gujarat,
    up sarpanch, sardarpur.

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