The general census of India 2011 states that the total number of children in the age-group of 0-6 years are 15,87,89,287(158.8 million) and India has got the largest youth population in the world.
Children are the future of India. They can build up a healthy India, only if they are hale and healthy.
Children’s Day in India
The birthday of the architect of Independent India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, November 14, is celebrated in India as the Children’s Day although this day is celebrated universally every year on 20th November. He was very fond of children and he wished his birthday to be celebrated as the children’s day of the nation. The country celebrates the day with various activities and events to encourage children in making them grow responsible children.
Healthy child for a healthy nation
The famous English poet William Wordsworth describes in his poem “The Rainbow’” that child is the father of the man. It is true that all positive and negative traits established during childhood decide the growth of the child. If the child is healthy in childhood it can grow up as a healthy adult. Health in body and mind only can carve out a healthy nation. That is why Jawarlal Nehru, whom children called with great affection Chacha Nehru, wished that his birthday should be observed as Nation’s Children’s Day.
Child health in India
UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, has warned India that if it fails to provide basic health care for its poorest children – despite robust economic growth, it will be a great deathblow to the whole world. It has stated that India and China account for nearly a third of the world’s child deaths, the vast majority of them in India.
Diabetes and Indian children
November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day at universal level. Diabetes is growing all over the world at an epidemic speed. Consumerism of the modern lifestyle and fast food culture are promoting obesity, diabetes and all their related diseases. Studies reveal that diabetes is increasing in India at an alarming level, both in children and adults. Change of food habits and others of life style has resulted in increasing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in children also. Urban children are victimised more than the rural. The survey revealed by the International Diabetes Federation in October 2009 ranked India as the country with the most diabetics worldwide where more than 50 million are struggling with this slow-killing disease.
The website www.diabetes.co.uk deplores, “New statistics indicate that diabetes, already known to be sweeping India, is now becoming far more common amongst children and women in gestation”.
Why increase of diabetes among the Indian children?
Sedentary lifestyle and fast food culture are the main culprits that make the Indian children obese and diabetic. A study conducted by the Delhi Diabetes Research Centre reported that 17 per cent of Indian children are overweight or obese and 42 per cent of children were found to spend at least an hour a day watching television or engaged in computer games.
Let this Children’s Day open the eyes
When World Diabetes Day is observed globally on November 14 and India celebrated the Children’s Day, may this day create an awareness of making the Indian children diabetes-free. Only when the nation realises the importance of child health it can be healthy and safe.