Can you imagine your one day without food?” It hurts even to think, right?
But here is the bitter truth—–Poor children don’t have one proper meal that they can enjoy. In India, around 3500 children die of hunger every day, while many of us don’t hesitate to throw away food. According to the estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2018″ report, about 196 million people are undernourished in India. The equivalent of this measure is 15% –of the population.
Hunger Facts in India—
- 1 in 5 children are malnourished
- India is home to the enormous undernourished population in the world
- 15% of the population is undernourished
- About 22% of children under 5 are underweight
- Roughly 40% of children under five years of age have stunted growth
The hunger status in India is still “serious”, says the Global Hunger Index, 2018, a report prepared by the ‘International Food Policy Research Institute’.
The report globally considers the developing countries. It measures hunger situation using data such as undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and mortality. We are not looking to only reduce the numbers of starving children, we want absolutely no one going hungry, which a very challenging task, but still not impossible.
Thousands of children suffer from wasting: ie, have a weight lower than average for their height. Moreover,
While India has implemented two large-scale national programs that address nutrition – ‘The Integrated Child Development Scheme’ and ‘The National Health Mission’–these have yet to “achieve adequate coverage”, says the report.
Therefore, lack of food and poor access to sanitation means Indian children grow up malnourished compared to most other countries in the world as well as its immediate neighbourhood. All these statistics paint a rather frightful picture of the Indian hunger scene and calls for an immediate correction.
So, why is “Child Starvation” such a big problem in India?
Poverty directly affects the health of our children as it blocks their path to proper nutrition.
The easiest target of starvation is ‘The Poor Children’. There are a lot of children who live on the streets, with no one to take care of them. All they can eat is leftovers they find in the garbage, or through begging. Parents who are already struggling to put food into their children’s bellies, cannot afford to give them a proper education either.
Increasing Attendance in Schools through Mid-Day Meal Programs
To solve the issue, the Indian government came up with the mid-day meal program for children in Government Schools across the country. With the introduction of this scheme, the number of students attending schools increased significantly. This positively impacted the number of enrollments in schools, and the rate of dropouts decreased. Knowing that their children will be well-fed, the parents dropped their apprehensions and agreed to send them to school.
Starvation is still claiming lives in India, a country which takes pride in being a self-sufficient nation in food production. In an economically progressive country, starvation acts like a blot. The country is unable to fight the disparities in terms of availability of food meant for sustenance. India is the country with the maximum inequality between the rich and the poor. Starvation is thus all the more a bitter fact.
We can get help from our expert team: ‘EKAM FOUNDATION’ who’s mission is to bring progression in the health and well-being of children, mothers and a community as a whole. EKAM over the last six years has provided health care at health centres, district hospitals and other tertiary care government hospitals. So, log on to www.ekamoneness.org to learn more.