Starving and hungry people

Indian population is increasing drastically. There has been tremendous growth in the Indian economy. Industries are expanding yet people of India are starving, especially women and children of India. Hunger in India is increasing. There isn’t sufficient production of food in the country to feed the population. 

Facts about Hunger in India

As per the FAO report, it estimated in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020 report’ that 189.2 million people that means 14 percent of the total population of India is undernourished.

20 percent of children below the age of 5 are underweight. 34.7% of children under 5 years of age are stunted (means too short for their age). Malnourished children are more prone to fall sick and catch diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria.

Furthermore, 51.4 percent of women between the age of 15-45 are anemic. 

The Global Hunger Index of 2019 ranked India at 102 out of 117 and in Global Hunger Index 2020 India is ranked 94th among 107 countries on the basis of three leading indicators — prevalence of wasting and stunting in children under 5 years, under 5 child mortality rate, and the proportion of undernourished in the population.

Wastage of food

It has been noticed that one-third of the food produced for humans to consume gets wasted and lost. 40 percent of fruits and vegetables and 30 percent of cereals do not reach people due to improper management of the food supply chain. 

While some food is wasted at the pre-production stage and some at the post-production stage. Some food is ruined in the warehouse because it doesn’t reach the people or to the ration shops on time. Sometimes it is wasted due to extra production.

This food can be saved and everybody can be fed if it reaches people on time through proper distribution channels. Right management of the Indian food system is required.

Initiatives taken by the government to reduce hunger in India

Due to the large population, it is very challenging to provide food for all the hungry but it is not impossible. 

Since it is a basic necessity, therefore, every individual has the right to eat food. The Government of India has launched many schemes to ensure that every person of the nation should have access to food.

 But due to changes in environmental factors like climate change, slow agricultural growth, and land degradation. It has become more challenging for the government to ensure food security. 

Various initiatives taken by government of India are given below.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM)

It was launched in October 2007 by The National Development Council (NDC) in its 53rd meeting held on 29th May, 2007. The aim of this scheme is to increase the production of Rice, wheat, and pulses.

With every five-year plan, changes are made in the scheme to increase the target of production. 

Public distribution system (PDS)

India has the largest production of food besides China. The Government of India spends almost 750 billion on production. The distribution of food grain is managed by state governments.

Public distribution system facilitates the distribution of food grain in the country to provide food for the hungry.  

As per the norms of PDS, a person below the poverty line cardholder should be given 35 kg of food grain on monthly basis and a person without the card should be given 15 kg.

National Food Security Act, (NFSA)

On July 5, 2013 government launched this act. The Act legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System.

 About two thirds of the population therefore is covered under the Act to receive highly subsidized food grains.

Mid-day Meal Scheme 

In 1995 the government of India launched the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education also known as the mid-day meal scheme. As per this scheme children of primary school would get free nutritious meals in schools. 

Later on, classes 6th to 8th were also included in this scheme. It was expected that due to this scheme enrolment of kids would increase in schools, their attendance and nutrition level would also improve.

Condition of India’s food system during COVID-19

Covid-19 has caused a lot of problems for India and has created many challenges too for controlling this infectious disease and food distribution.

 It is a very unique pandemic, businesses have been shut down, construction activities have been stopped and many people lost their jobs but daily wage laborers suffered the most.

Due to no money, they cannot purchase basic needs like food for themselves. It has become very difficult for the government too to ensure the proper distribution of food grains due to a paradigm shift in the situation of the world.

On March 26, the government announced a $22.6 billion relief package with a major food component. This relief package should meet most people’s food requirements. This emergency food support is happening at this time.

Nevertheless, the Government of India is trying hard to make sure that all the people get food and nobody sleeps empty stomach. Even the ordinary people of the country are helping the needy by donating and providing them free meals.

Final thoughts on hunger in India

The hunger crisis in India must be addressed. Millions of lives suffer and starve in India. Children of our country go to school on empty stomachs. They suffer from a lack of concentration and malnutrition. As a result, they drop out of school.

The majority of women in India suffer from anemia due to a lack of nutrients. It is high time that we do more than we already do to support the people of our country, especially the weaker section of society, and help them prosper.

This country is in dire condition. More efforts should be put into end hunger and for the betterment of India’s population.

End hunger by feeding poor


World hunger day is on 28 may, it is created by The Hunger Project to bring awareness. On World Hunger Day – and every day – they ask the world to come together with a shared goal of realizing healthy, fulfilling lives of self-reliance and dignity for all people. 

By Ishita

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