The Sugarland sadness

The first speech Prime Minister Imran Khan gave in 2018 bore a word not usually found in such pronouncements on the national stage: Malnutrition. To elucidate his point, he showed an x-ray of a child’s brain with stunted growth.

Malnutrition had actually became a buzzword about five years before his speech, when the dying babies of Thar hit the news cycle. We surmised, in a paralytic helplessness, that of course, this was to be expected in a desert area; nearly 70% of children in Thar were underweight. But how could we explain away the malnutrition of 48% of children in Sindh’s most fertile district: Tando Allahyar?

Even more puzzling is that the Federal Bureau of Statistics said that Pakistan was cultivating more land and was producing more crops–but we were still facing malnutrition. (Cotton was the exception with less produced on the same fixed area). If we were ostensibly growing more food, why were so many children malnourished?

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