Why We Need to Be More Ambitious About Food in India

How many times do we read a bunch of food stories from BuzzFeed or The Condé Nast Traveller? It’s probably one every day or if we are not that really a foodie, a few every week. Stories of food depravity don’t really cross our minds, isn’t it? India is home to 194.6 million undernourished people, the highest in the world as reported by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This makes up 15% of our population. But the facts about under-fed and hungry kids are way more alarming. While the report did state that the number of underweight children declined from 49.2 per cent in 1990 to 30 per cent in 2013, it’s just not enough. Unless every non-governmental organisation in India strives to feed every child in India, this situation wouldn’t improve.

There indeed have been improvements through the mid-day meal scheme, tax exemptions to non-governmental organisations and various other efforts of the government to feed children in India. Yet one in every four kids is malnourished. Take for instance, in a family of four kids, one kid is probably going without food often.

Let’s take a look at some facts about Indian children:

– About 27 million children are born each year in India.

– Every fifth child in the world is Indian

– India has 440 million children – more than the population of North American states

– Nearly 2 million of these children do not live to the age of five. Reason? Malnourishment.

So how are we feeding these children? It’s disturbing enough that 3,000 children in India are dying every day from poor diet-related ailment. To top that, 24% of world’s under-five deaths are happening in India with lack of food being a major cause. Unfortunately, our higher economic growth has somehow not yielded higher food consumption or better diets. So while overall our rate of malnourished children has declined, we are failing to attempt greater things for feeding the hungry. Wonder if one should be happy that we saved 70% of our children from malnourishment or sad that 30% of them are still under danger?

The need of the hour is to lend a helping hand to fight against world hunger. Each one of us has the power to make a huge difference by supporting in our own little ways by participating in charity fundraising. A small contribution of Rs 750 can put a child through an academic year filled with nutritious mid-day meals in school. Feed a hungry child with one full year of healthy and wholesome meals and it will go a long way for that child as it could be the only proper meal in his or her entire day. If this rings a bell with you, donate to the charity now!

Spread the love