We Know Why Kokilaben Got Angry
If you dive into the meme-scape that internet is, you might have noticed words like “Kokilaben,” “Rashi,” “Gopi Bahu,” and “Rasode” have splashed the internet for the past few days. For the uninitiated, it all started when an Instagram user Yashraj Mukhate juxtaposed an angry scene from the famous television serial Saath Nibhana Saathiya into a song, triggering a flood of memes in different formats and themes, linked to this now viral video. Twitter too came up with its own quirky variations; hashtag #RasodeMeinKaunTha trended for a while.
The Real Reason
In the meme, Kokilaben can be seen saying, ‘Cooker mein se Chane Nikaal Diye’. While this meme was fun, it unintentionally highlighted the government’s laggard approach in addressing nutritional issues. Like Chana, any protein-rich diet is a must for everyone.
Insufficient intake of protein may cause various health problems such as impaired mental health, wasting and shrinkage of muscle tissues; and weakness of the immune system.
Despite the introduction of several program and policies, the Government has not done well in this regard.
Where does India stand?
World Health Organisation released its Global Nutrition Report recently. The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 as a mechanism for tracking the commitments made by 100 stakeholders spanning Governments, aid donors, civil society, the UN and the businesses.
Global Nutrition Report 2020 stated that India is among the 88 countries that are likely to miss Global Nutrition Targets by 2025. Global nutrition targets decided in 2012, includes the following:
- Reduce stunting by 40 per cent in children under 5.
- Reduce the prevalence of Anemia by 50 per cent among women in the age group of 19-49.
- Ensure no increase in childhood overweight.
- Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to least 50%.
- Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.
- Ensure a 30% reduction in low birth weight.
Let’s look at the present data.
Stunting and wasting among children
37.9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted. Additionally, India is identified among the three worst countries for sharp within-country disparities in stunting.
One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic.
Overweight and Obesity
Rate of increase in overweight and obese adults is rising continuously, affecting one-fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men. There is internal inequity as well; there are nearly double obese adult females than there are males (5.1% compared to 2.7%).
Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% and 50.1% in girls. This is still comparatively high considering the average of Asia is 35.6% for boys and 31.8% in Asia.
The link between Malnutrition and Inequity
Furthermore, the report emphasizes the link between malnutrition and different forms of inequity, such as those based on geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, education and economic privilege in all its forms. These inequities then further lead to poor nutrition outcomes that in turn lead to more inequity, hence perpetuating a vicious cycle.
In times like these, when the world is struggling against COVID-19, which has displayed the socio-economic inequality in even more glaring light, it is imperative to promote all-round equity to address malnutrition.
While meme cycles are getting shorter, learning the importance of nutrition is essential. To misphrase Lord Tennyson, for memes may come and memes may go, but nutrition stays forever.
Feature image credit: mr_cartoon_creator on Instagram
19. I like books, punk rock, philosophy and panicking over the crushing weight of existence. Student of Journalism, teller of stories.