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  • So sad; 22 crore are starving in India?

    Published on August 23, 2022

    By Rakesh Dubey  

    I have with me the UN report titled ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2022’. The report states that 22 crore population of the country does not have enough to eat. In is contradictory, while a sizable percentage of our people are starving the government is boasting of surplus food grains in its warehouses and political parties distributing free food grains during elections. I am still dreaming of a day when my every hungry person in this country will be lucky to get two full meals a day. The UN report clearly states that in 2021, a total of 224 million people of India were found to be malnourished. According to a published survey, 70.5 percent of Indians are undernourished.

    However the government presents a rosy picture in Parliament on the status of the people through many statistical figures.  But according to the survey, still 22 crore people in India are famished. According to the same report, in 2021, 29 percent of the 768 million people who were starving globally were Indians.

    The said UN report also gives details of women suffering from anemia. According to the report, 34 million people in the age group of 15 to 49 have joined the overweight category. Four years ago this number was 25 million. The number of female anemia cases stood at around 172 million in 2019, while a total of 187 million women in India were found to be anemic in 2021.

    According to ‘Global Hunger Index-2021’, data India is the second largest food producing country in the world.  India leads in the production of milk, rice, fish, vegetables and wheat and also in the availability of cheapest nutritious food.  But it is surprising; more than one-fourth of the total population of the country is undernourished. This exposes the shortcomings of systematic management of food distribution.

    It is also necessary to consider the traditional dietary rules of Indian culture. In Indian civilization, food has been associated with divinity. Traditionally, wasting food in any manner was considered a sin. But that cultural standards and ethics are little adhered to these days.   The amount of food wasted mercilessly in celebrations and parties are shocking. This food wasted in such celebrations was enough to cater our starving millions.

    Even after 75 years of independence, we are still unable to set right the faulty and erroneous system to save the starving millions in our country. According to reports many millions of tonnes of food grains are lost every year due to corrupt practices. The discrepancy between the nutritional and free grain allocation schemes and reaching out to all the needy people is a growing concern of the country. Inadequate knowledge on balanced diet, quantity of food etc. is also a major reason for abnormal increase in health related problems like anemia. Lack of necessary physical activity and the prevalence of ‘junk food’ are contributing to obesity and related health issues among the youth.  The ‘Ready to Eat’

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