Hunger and Poverty in India is biggest issue. Rather it is not wrong to say that the whole world is struggling with this matter. There are some countries where people are suffering from hunger. Despite unprecedented industrial and economic development, India produces enough food to feed its population, yet it is unable to provide food to a large number of people, especially women and children.
India’s hunger index 2021
India has ranked to the 101st position on the basis of FAO (UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization) estimate on proportion of under nourished population.
- What is hunger
- Hunger in India
- Causes of hunger
- What is Poverty
- Cause of poverty
What is hunger
According to politics, humanitarian aid, and the social sciences, hunger is the need for a sustained period of nutrients for a person’s physical or financial capabilities to eat enough food.
The feeling of hunger usually appears after a few hours without eating. The term hunger is also used in social science and policy discussions to describe the condition of people who suffer from chronic lack of adequate food and experience a persistent feeling of hunger, and can lead to malnutrition. The physical sensation of hunger is related to the contraction of the abdominal muscles.
Hunger in India
According to FAO estimates in the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020 report, 189.2 million people in India are malnourished. By this measure 14% of the population in India is malnourished.
According to the report, 34.7% of children under five years of age in India are too short for their age, while 20% suffer from wasting, which means they are underweight for their height. Malnourished children are at higher risk of death from serious diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria. The Global Hunger Index 2020 ranks India 101st out of 116 countries based on three key indicators:-
(i) Prevalence of wasting and stunting among children under 5 years of age
(ii) Child mortality under 5
(iii) The proportion of undernourished in the population
Causes of hunger
Food lost and food waste
Every year about a third of the food produced for human consumption in the world is destroyed or wasted. 40 percent of fruits and vegetables, and 30 percent of the grain produced is lost due to inefficient supply chain management. The consumer does not reach the markets. While a lot of grain is lost or wasted during the distribution and consumption phases, both at the time of harvesting and post-harvest handling.
Some food goes to waste in the shelves and warehouses of food businesses either because of overproduction or due to the introduction of new products, labeling errors, and short remaining shelf life. Such food can be saved by taking it out of the distribution network on time, collecting it and then delivering it to the needy people.
Climate change is also a big factor in increasing hunger. Too much or too little rainfall can destroy crops or reduce the amount of animal pasture available. All these reasons lead to a sharp decline in food items making it difficult for poor people to sustain themselves.
Insufficient economic system
The rate of hunger increases when the national or local economy is in recession. People lose jobs and are unable to find work. Once the economy recovers, some people continue to struggle to find work. Lack of income or lack of means of income is the biggest reason for poverty and hunger. People in nuclear families are not able to do jobs while taking care of small children, this is also one of the reasons.
Poverty is the main cause of hunger in the India. This is equally true in rich and poor countries. The largest group of people in the world in extreme poverty are smallholder farmers in developing countries.
Poor infrastructure of the country is a very important reason for hunger and poverty. In some backward areas, girls do not come out of the house, girls get married early, narrow thinking are examples of poverty.
Crops need water to grow. Irrigation infrastructure is not available to most of the farmers in the developing regions. Lack of water and sanitation infrastructure are major causes of hunger and malnutrition.
All those who go hungry are malnourished. They do not get enough protein, so they lose weight and their body starts suffering from serious diseases. All people need certain nutrients to lead a healthy life, and when they do not consume enough, they can get sick and even die.
What is Poverty
Poverty is a condition in which a person is not able to meet his basic needs including food, clothing and housing. Poverty is about not being able to participate in recreational activities in addition to lack of money. Those people who are unable to do birthday party etc with their classmates, not able to send children on a day trip and not being able to pay for medicines for an illness etc. are all examples of poverty. . Those people who are barely able to pay for food and shelter cannot consider these other expenses.
In spite of many definitions, one thing is certain that poverty is a complex social problem. No matter how poverty is defined, it can be agreed that it is an issue that needs everyone’s attention.
Cause of poverty
Unemployment is the main cause of poverty. Due to lack of employment, people are unable to get their livelihood.
Individuals educated in poverty have limited opportunities to succeed in a dynamic work environment. Illiteracy promotes poverty.
Inadequate, limited or poor access to healthcare
People work less, are less productive. The sick person is buried under the cost of expensive medicines and treatment, this cycle makes the affected people poor.
Unequal distribution of resources
Inequality and discrimination in the distribution of resources lead to poverty. Whereas people with more resources get richer and have better access to services.
Climate change and environmental degradation
Natural calamities like floods, droughts and storms cause shortage of food and water. alter basic existence and cause migration. People are left homeless and have to wander in search of employment and food, which increases the poverty cycle.
Most of the people without money and resources borrow money to meet their financial needs. At the national level or regional level, multilateral lending institutions create unfavorable conditions or loan repayment terms for poorer economies, leading to higher repayment burdens that affect the public. This leads to an increase in poverty rates.
Increasing population is a very important cause of poverty. Over consumption of products leads to a reduction in the production of resources, which leads to an increase in prices and thereby depriving the poor people. Lack of money, limits their access to resources. This increases poverty.
Due to corruption, poor people are deprived of many types of facilities. Corruption is a mess in the society which directly affects the people living below the poverty line.
COVID-19 – A step towards poverty
COVID 19 is significantly affecting national, regional and global economies. One fact is clear- the effects of COVID-19 will affect poorer and poorer economies to a disproportionately high level, with more people becoming poorer.
Massive mortality rate whose direct impact is the loss of the earning members of the families. This tragedy is increasing poverty.
Hunger and poverty are at their highest rates in India. We have learned many reasons and facts about this. The financial conditions of the people are such that it pushes them to hunger and below the poverty line. But among these, natural disasters are the most affecting. The government is capable of handling all these calamities.