Sunday, April 30, 2017

Neglected And Wasted

I stayed in a township last night. I have stayed there before, in previous years -- but this time, I saw emaciated and malnourished children -- some of them staring a "thousand mile stare" in front of them. I said they seemed to be verwaarloos, an Afrikaans word which means "neglected" -- but stronger than that -- "wasted". "Of course!" somebody said. "Look around you. You see the houses. They say it all!" OBSERVATION: I have read about malnutrition in South Africa, but I have never seen it before. There is a big problem in our prosperous subcontinent. And it is not only the children who look verwaarloos.

POSTSCRIPT: According to Wikipedia (not always the best source), 25% of pre-school children and 20% of primary school children in South Africa suffered malnutrition in the year 2000. The problem (or disaster) "remains a prevalent problem".

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