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Most of the deaths happened between nine months and three years. All the children died of hunger—defined medically as severe acute malnutrition (SAM) which, directly or indirectly, causes for one in three under-5 deaths in India.
Countless mothers across India share the tragedy of Parvati and Anjana. Though the shockingly high number of children dying of malnutrition has put the spotlight on Sheopur and Shivpuri, hunger and malnutrition are chronic in many parts of India.
Poverty and social exclusion play a big role, as does lack of information. Mothers feed their children the best they can, but their best is not enough. Most children are being exclusively breastfed till well past the age of 18 months, sometimes up to age 2.