BRICS is the Future
So said a African politician The lower number of births per woman will hit hardest 55 countries that are set see their populations decline by at least one percent. The pack is led by China and followed by other countries, many located in Eastern Europe or the Caribbean. Lithuania and Bulgaria will suffer the biggest decline, seeing their populations shrink by 23 percent by 2050. Latvia, with an estimated 22 percent decline, is followed by the Wallis and Futuna Islands (20 percent), and Ukraine (20 percent).

While researchers sound the alarm over the rapid population growth in the developing world, they also point to the growing number of people 65 and older that constitute an economic burden. While only one in 11 people is currently in this age group, by 2050, one in six will be 65 or older. In some regions, such as Asia, Latin America, and Northern Africa, the proportion of the elderly population is expected to double by 2050, the study notes.
A Reader

Women Fighters
I would like to point out some lapses in Sumanta Banerjee's otherwise excellent article—"Misogyny in the Communist Movement" (Frontier, November 10-16). Banerjee has forgotten to name Nirmala Krishnamurthy, who courted martyrdom in Srikakulam in 1970. She, along with some of her comrades including poet Subbarao Panigrahi, were killed in cold blood by Andhra Police. Her husband, Panchadri Krishnamurthy, had been killed earlier, in May 1969, along with six other persons who had come to receive him at a railway station. I think the names of some women communist activists, Latika Sen et al could and should have been mentioned. They were killed by the police in Kolkata in the early fifties of the last century—I cannot exactly remember the year—when a women's procession was barbarously fired upon by the police in a central Calcutta street. The tale of their martyrdom was immortalised by the famous Urdu writer Kisan Chunder in one of his stories.

The history of women's participation in people's movements remains largely unwritten. Time has come to rectify this historical error.
N K Chatterjee, Bolpur, Birbhum

Bashing Lawyers
After the Delhi government created a corpus of Rs 50 crore for the Welfare of Delhi lawyers, Arvind Kejriwal became the darling of the common lawyer of Delhi. With elections in Delhi around the corner, making Namo and Tadipar lose their precious nights' sleep. They were looking for an opportunity to get even. The instructions went out to the senior police officers don't lose a chance to terrorise lawyers wherever and whenever. The rest is known. Point blank shooting of a lawyer was part of the plan. It was done on instructions of very high ups. But plans went haywire as the action plan was implemented much in excess. That is why senior police officers did not open their mouth before the High Court. That's why the HM was not traceable and did not react when over 2,000 policemen unprecedentedly protested against their own high-ups at the ITO Police HQs. The tables have been turned. Arvind Kejriwal's poll prospects on account of support of lawyers and unsettling of law and order in the Capital, appear brighter after Saturday 2nd November, 2019 despite the Godi media's every attempt to tarnish the lawyer. Without the AAP leader having to open his mouth. The proverbial fight between the mongoose and the snake gets fiercer.

Ideally, however, the police and the lawyers could have been the complementary arms of a peaceful, orderly society in the pursuit of the rule of law and social justice.
Aurobindo Ghose
Human Rights Lawyer, New Delhi

National Nutrition Mission
National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has been undertaken by the government of India with three-year budget of Rs 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18. The POSHAN Abhiyaan under NNM, a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision would ensure malnutrition free India by 2022. It has been targeted: to identify Districts of India with the highest malnutrition burden and to design holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers, and children. It would also map of Various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition. Categorically, it is a package of (i) introducing a very robust convergence mechanism, (ii) ICT based Real Time Monitoring System, (iii) Incentivising States/UTs for meeting the targets, (iv) Incentivising Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools, (v) eliminating registers used by AWWs, (vi) introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs). (vii) Social Audits, (viii) setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through Rations activities, among others.

In fact, service packages under NNM are neither a new nor an innovative programme. It is only a renamed packages of earlier existing programme like (1) Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS); (2) Midday Meal Programs (MDM); (3) Special Nutrition Programs (SNP)/ (4) Wheat Based Nutrition Programs (WNP); 5) Applied Nutrition Programs (ANP); (6) Balwadi Nutrition Programs (BNP); (7) National Nutritional Anemia Prophylaxis Program (NNAPP); (8) National Program for Prevention of Blindness due to Vitamin A Deficiency; and (9) National Goiter Control Program (NGCP). ICDS has been introduced in 1975 to serve for the children below 6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers, and women aged 15-44 years, with supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-ups, referral services, treatment of minor illnesses, pre-school education to children aged 3-6 years. After 44 years of this ICDS, unfortunately the Global Nutrition Report 2018 recorded that 46.6 million children are stunted'.

Factually, it has been assessed that NNM is much loaded with campaigns like earlier programme and policy for removal of malnutrition among poor of the country. Government of India has been allocating an estimate of 1000 crore only for the campaign on the issue and it is within the realm of a typical bureaucratic model. Certainly, it has been planned to integrate and co-ordinate other some ministries—Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and child Development, and so forth. But how will it help to meet desired goal of nutritious nation? When people who have no food, how do they make choice and selection of the daily intake?
Harashankar Adhikari, Kolkata

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Vol. 52, No. 25, Dec 22 - 28, 2019