Jaffna children undernourished - report
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 1999, 11:33 GMT]
Sixty seven percent of the school children in Jaffna are undernourished according to a survey recently carried out in the peninsula by 'Ootru', the research organisation that has been engaged in scientific, social, economic and development studies in the north for almost two decades.
This level of undernourishment among Jaffna school children is due to high prices of essentials, unemployment, death of breadwinners in many families, traditional notions of frugality that impinge on dietary habits such as fasting and vegetarianism during certain days of the week.
The TamilNet correspondent interviewed Ootru's Director for Planning Mr.P. Vigneswaran about some current aspects of Jaffna society.
Mr.Vigneswaran revealed that the survey found that 10,000 children are without primary education in the peninsula. (Jaffna had one of the highest average literacy rates in the island a decade ago).
Nine thousand youth are unemployed and there are more than 20,000 widows in the peninsula with no regular means of income.
The Ootru director said that infant mortality has also shown an increase in recent times. It is currently 2.9 percent he said.
Mr.Vigneswaran also revealed that there are currently more than 4000 persons who are separated from their families due to the war.