ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Truth about Hunger and Disease in Mumbai

This paper measures the incidence of malnourishment among under-five children in slums in Mumbai and compares it to the incidence in Jawhar tehsil of Thane district known for high levels of malnourishment. Severe malnourishment is found to be higher in Mumbai than in Jawhar. A connection is postulated between characteristics of urban informal labour markets, specially for women's labour, and the high observed incidence of malnutrition among children. The paper discusses policy mixes for minimising the incidence of malnutrition in this population. A policy that combines income improvement with greater public health facilities and legislation is most likely to succeed in Mumbai. The existing policy of 'slum re-development', if not combined with these other policies, will only induce cosmetic changes and solve the 'problem' of slums only from the point of view of the non-slum population.

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