WHEN WILL WE ACHIEVE HUNGER-FREE INDIA?
When you hear the word hunger what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Ideally, It should be food, but unfortunately, it's people begging for food in their shabby clothes.
After 75 years of independence, we are still fighting for the basic amenities only. This is one of the most prominent questions in every Indian's mind that when will be able to achieve hunger-free India. Our former Union food and public distribution minister Late Ram Vilas Paswan once said
“ The target is to launch the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme within a year. Once the point-of-sale machines are made available at all the public distribution system (PDS) shops across the country, the scheme will be launched, which will help people, especially migrant workers, avail the benefits.”
This was said by him when the global hunger index 2019 was released and India was ranked 102 out of 117. The GHI report has placed India in the 94th position out of 117. So these are some evident proof that shows India is under the grim of Hunger.
WHY ARE WE FACING THIS?
In Poverty and Famines, the prominent reason for the famines and starvation introduced was the idea of exchange entitlement decline. It is characterised by an adverse shift in the exchange value of endowments for food. It essentially means the occupation a section of people is engaged in is not remunerative enough to buy adequate food.
According to my some key reasons for hunger are:-
Relative income of one section of people decline.
Agricultural output from small and marginal holdings are either stagnant or declining.
There is no proper distribution at local levels.
Corruption at every level of government.
RELATIVE INCOME OF ONE SECTION OF PEOPLE DECLINE.
This declines their capacity to buy adequate food especially when the prices are getting high. The reason behind low incomes could be population or maybe joblessness due to pandemic.
AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT FROM SMALL AND MARGINAL HOLDINGS ARE
EITHER STAGNANT OR DECLINING.
The agricultural output decline could be because of many reasons like soil fertility or fragmented land or an increase in the price of farm produce. There are so many natural calamities too which led to a decline in the agriculture produce.
THERE IS NO PROPER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM AT LOCAL LEVELS.
Lack of a proper distribution system doesn't let the surplus amount of food reach the ones who need it.
CORRUPTION AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
This is one of the most important reasons why poor people don't get food. The grains before reaching to the poor are distributed among the officers and there is no system as such which can check whether the people who need this are getting it or not.
SOME MEASURES THAT CAN BE TAKEN FOR BUILDING A HUNGER-FREE INDIA
The State of Food Security and Nutrition Act of 2013 was formed to give these people nutritional food at affordable prices, but that is still a dream. With the inability of the states to reach all of their citizens equally and draconian laws like the caste system still prevailing in various parts of our country, people will keep on suffering.
Measures that can be taken to build hunger-free India are:-
Healthy and nutritious mid-day meals
To get children a good education
To provide people with job.
Proper distribution system
HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS MID-DAY MEAL
It is the best way to provide children with food and this will also increase attendance in the school.
TO GET CHILDREN GOOD EDUCATION
Giving good education to children won't have any immediate effect on the situation but it will affect sometime as good education will help children secure good job which will improve their family condition.
TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH A GOOD JOB
Give people give a good job will help them to improve their family condition which will lead to eradicating hunger.
PROPER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
A proper distribution system is one of the major important elements which will help to provide poor people with food. If the surplus amount of food will reach to them this will help to eradicate hunger.
We saw the reasons behind the hunger in India and also the ways how can we make the situation better. It is not impossible to make the situation better as it can be done. If the eminent private firms and government both decide to do this together it can be done easily. The infrastructure should be appraised and improved which will result in better health and supply of nutrition to all the underprivileged people of India. as our Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi said, " There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread”, so we should all do our part to help poor people and strive to do what is right as humans, the greatest creation of God.
JOURNEY TOWARDS ZERO HUNGER – A ROAD LESS TRAVELED
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mihika Pandey is a law student. She is involved in community services for years. She focuses on designing and implementing various programs aimed at achieving sustainable social change.