ISLAMABAD: With nearly a fourth of its 1.1 billion population hungry, India indeed is the world’s hunger capital.
As more and more reports of the global financial meltdown are pouring in,digest this.
It made the world scurry to a grim one billion hungry people, a fact perceived as a grave threat to global peace and security. The UN estimates that hunger now affects one in six people, compounded by factors such as war, drought or floods, high food prices and poverty.
Most of the hunger in a world of plenty results from grinding, deep-rooted poverty, DECCAN HERALD Reported.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), there are 100 million more hungry people this year, meaning they consume fewer than 1,800 calories a day.
A spokesman of the World Food Programme said hungry people rioted in at least 30 countries last year, leading to, most notably, deadly riots in Haiti sparked off by soaring food prices to spiral into the overthrow of the prime minister.
“A hungry world is a dangerous world,” he said, “without food, people have only three options: They riot, they emigrate or they diCommentators note that in the 1990s, when India began to move towards a free market, the Naxalite movement revived in some of the poorest and most populous Indian states.
Part of the reason for this is that some livelihood and living-related issues like agriculture, public health, education and poverty-eradication have been given a short shrift, exposing large sections of the population to disease, debt, hunger and starvation.
The Indian state is conspicuously absent in most backward areas of the country.
Notwithstanding plaudits such as Thomas Friedman celebrating India as a success story of globalisation, it must be put on record that India has a terrible record in tackling hunger and malnutrition.
Amartya Sen has repeatedly pointed out how the `very poor’ in India get a small share of the cake that information technology and related developments generate.
India ranked 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries, as per a report released by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
India has the highest number of undernourished people in the world 230 million added to which 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices.
The report of the UN World Food Programme is quite unflattering. More than 27 per cent of the world’s undernourished population lives in India, of whom 43 per cent children (under five years) are underweight.
The figure is higher than the global average of 25 per cent and even beats sub-Saharan Africa’s figure of 28 per cent. Nearly 50 per cent of child deaths in India occur due to malnutrition.