Hunger haunts Indians

While the country is beating the drums of $5-trillion economy, the latest figures of Global Hunger Index on India’s starvation raise concern

It was 48 years ago when the then Prime minister Indira Gandhi gave a slogan in the 1971 election — Gareebee Hatao (remove poverty). Now even almost after five decades poverty and hunger figures are putting country in embarrassment in front of the world. The data of Global Hunger Index 2019 shows that today when we are beating the drums of five trillion economy, we are ranked 102nd among the 117 countries in the world in terms of starvation.

It is the tragedy of this country that elections are neither fought on the most burning issues, nor are they able to be a part of any big debates. Recently organised “Howdy Modi” programme, with spending lakhs of rupees become the main programs of our TV channels, but they remain silent on the country’s most burning issues like hunger.

If we see, in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the issue of “nationalism” was raised by the main political party BJP. It is a matter of concern that in this “nationalism”, the main issues of the country like hunger, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment had no place. What kind of nationalism is this, in which the issues of real nationalism are missing. So it is clear that this nationalism is nationalism only of elections and votes.

After coming to poverty, leaders are not worried about the country’s population and their burning issues. This is evident from the fact that only 9.7 per cent of children between the ages of 9 and 23 months are getting minimum diet in India. On the one side there is dazzle of programs like “Howdy” and on the other hand children, women and men dying of starvation.
When Narendra Modi came to power with the “Gujarat Model” in the year 2014, it was felt that he was the Chief Minister in a state for four times and a person who understood the ground reality would do politics of the real issues of the country. But the truth was completely reversed. The running of the government in corporate style has made the country’s burning issues more serious and they have no attention of the present regime.

This is also shameful for us the ruling party’s people keep teasing Pakistan as beggar, but our starvation graph is worst then that country. We are ranked 102 in 117 countries and Pakistan at 79th place. Even countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are in better condition than us. In the Modi regime, India has fallen further down the Global Hunger Index (GHI). Not only has India reached the worst ranking among South Asian countries, it is also in a worse GHI condition than neighboring Pakistan, facing a severe economic situation. India’s score 30.3 has been found in the GHI, which is considered in the “Serious Hunger category”.

According to the latest GHI data, in 2015, India was ranked 93rd in the Global Hunger Index, today it is ranked 102 out of a total of 117 countries. The Modi government may be beating the drums of reaching the country of five trillion economy, the new GHI report speaks something else.

The report reveals that India is in the worst state of starvation in “BRICS” countries. Last year, India was ranked 79th in the GHI rankings. These figures indicate that the current governance in the country is not paying any attention to the real issues. For India worst thing is that GHI in its report has attributed India to the poor ranking of South Asia. It says that South Asia’s ranking has fallen due to India’s poor performance. The GHI contains data from 2014 to 2018 and based on three indicators show the proportion of undernourished children in the country, children under five years of age, whose weight or length is lower by age, and death rate among children under five.

Countries are ranked at 100 points in the GHI. Less than ten points means the right condition, 20 to 36.4 points are called serious hunger, 35 to 79.7 points are considered alarming and more than 50 points are considered in the highly alarming category.

Statistics show that the rate of weakness in children of India is increasing at a very fast rate. Worryingly, it is above all countries. According to the Global Hunger Index, children in India have been witnessing increasing weakness since 2010. In the year 2010, the rate of weakness in children up to the age of five was 16.5 per cent, which has increased to 20.4 per cent in the year 2019.

India has been placed in the category of vesting due to its low weight with children. Research by UNICEF says that there is a high probability of death of such children. Lack of food and illnesses are the main reasons for the vulnerability of children.

This report states that countries with a vesting rate of more than 10 per cent are in a very serious condition. Emphasis has been given to these countries to give immediate and serious attention to it. According to the Global Hunger Index, 90.6 per cent of children in the age group of six to 23 months are unable to get as much food as they need in India.

The GHI states that due to India’s large population, its hunger indicator has a great impact on the overall indicators of the region. India ranks 102 in the Global Hunger Index, while only 117 countries are included in it. The hunger level in India is 30.3 points in the report, which is quite serious.

The index also raises concerns about high stunting (stunted growth of children) rate in India. However, it has improved compared to previous years. According to the report, in 2010, the stunting rate among children under the age of five in India was 42 per cent, compared to 37.7 per cent in 2019. The report states that the rate is also very high in terms of public health importance.

Eradicating hunger and poverty in the country is now becoming a big challenge as the rulers are competing in a false race to only show the positive side of the country in front of the world. The focus of the people in power is to build the image of the leader only. They are, unfortunately, seriously indifferent to the internal condition and problems of the country. This is a sign of great danger as the burning issues of the country will reach explosive levels in the coming years.