With a population of more than a billion, 1.311 billion to be exact, hunger is an ongoing battle for India. As the country races to the fastest growing economy, it has left its poor families struggling for food. Millions of children are suffering from malnutrition. According to a non-governmental organization, Action Against Hunger, “60 million children under 5 suffer from stunting, comprising 36 percent of the world’s total under 5 sufferers, which is mainly caused by under-nutrition.” One-fourth of the world’s population of undernourished people live in India.
The India Food Banking Network states that India has been progressing enormously in terms of economy and industries. “While India produces sufficient food to feed its population, it is unable to provide access to food to a large number of people, especially women and children.”
Malnutrition and under-nutrition are attributed to widespread poverty, endemic hunger, weak governance, corruption, poor health systems, lack of transparency and rapid population growth.
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There are various organizations working throughout India to tackle this problem. The government has also taken positive initiatives such as the National Food Security Mission; Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana; and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). The United Nations with its partner groups is also working with the government. “It assists government efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the safety nets under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), and work towards increasing farm incomes for small and marginal farming households.”
Moreover, in 2012 the UN proposed the Zero Hunger Challenge. India has taken this challenge in its stride. The UN states that “eliminating hunger involves investments in agriculture, rural development, decent work, social protection and equality of opportunity. It will make a major contribution to peace and stability and to the reduction of poverty.”
A holistic approach needs to be taken to food security. Then only can hunger be eliminated?