The recently published global hunger index 2021 placed India on 101st rank, even leaving Pakistan and Bangladesh under 100 rank.
Last year India’s rank was 94th and now it’s not even in the top 100 rank which is honestly quite shocking. Even countries that are not fully developed in comparison with India are doing better.
Government of India’s stand on the global hunger index
India has straight away rejected this global index hunger ranking and is very firm on its stand. There are certain reasons given by the government of India regarding the rejection of the hunger index. Some of them are:
- The government of India calls the entire methodology fraud, bias, and selective when it comes to data selection.
- The reason given by the hunger index was based on certain factors in which covid-19 was also one of the reasons.
- The counter-argument which India gave regarding this was that the pandemic had been harsh on every country irrespective of how much developed, under-developed, or developing the country is.
- Because of pandemic’s after-effects that have been seen in every country’s economy, there has been a decrease in the per capita income of every country.
- Disturbances in the economy has been witnessed all over the world so in this case, the pandemic cannot be a sole factor for India’s position in the global hunger index.
- The report is not justified in itself.
Brief about global hunger index
One thing that must be understood is the ranking given by or issued by the agencies involved does not belong to any worldwide recognized institution like the UN or the World Bank. There are mainly two NGOs that issues this index together which are CONCERN WORLDWIDE NGO, which is an Ireland-based NGO, and another is a German based NGO, which issue the index every year based on thorough research. Their research is based on authentic sources, therefore, it is believed that the index issued is reliable and accurate.
The data used by these NGOs are taken from the well-known institution like UN reports, world bank, government data published by every country, etc. They claim their results to be accurate and authentic because the source from where it is taken is authentic and are based on the reports of well-known institutions.
The global hunger index is based on certain parameters. Some of them like:
- CHILD MORTALITY
- PER CAPITA INCOME
Hunger problem in India
There have been researchers who in their studies found that undernourishment is a challenge for the government to tackle. The effects of undernourishment can be seen in the form of stunting.
In a recent research conducted by JNU, the researchers found that the Indians are getting shorter – some because of genetic reasons while the majority was due to undernourished foods they include in their diet. It’s not like all the population of India sleep with empty stomach but those who can afford them also are lacking nourishment.
Stunting in India itself draws many conclusions like with shorter height there might be a possibility that the organs of the child would not be developing according to the age or there might be underdevelopment of many organs like brain, problems in the liver, pancreas, etc.
This also concludes that a child which could have a bright future would face many developmental and medical problems because of the nutrient which is lacking in his/her diet. It’s a long-run effect.
There is no doubt that malnourishment or undernourishment do exist in India, and the level of existence may vary from moderate to extreme from different states to different states. Although there have been many schemes launched from the center as well as from stateside, like recently, PM Modi has launched various varieties of crops which are pest-free and can survive in extreme weather. Also, PM Modi said that from now onwards September month will be celebrated as nutrition month every year. But unfortunately, these are short-term solutions.
But it is not enough? No, not at all. Few schemes are not going to solve the problem of hunger or undernourishment. It’s a high time we should see hunger or undernourishment as a problem that ultimately is going to have a long-term impact on the future of India.
We need to look for some long-term solutions. There is a strong felt need to invest in a large number in the food sector. The government should recognize the food and agricultural sector and should encourage the huge level of research and developmental projects, funds allocation, and FDI also. It’s high time that innovation should be welcomed warmly in the agricultural sector.
We need a high and better quality of seeds and species which can survive even in extreme weather conditions. India, where drastic weather conditions lead to drought in the region whereas flood in another region, we need to have a good variety of seeds and agricultural studies. For this research and development have to be financially stronger.
Also, a campaign has to be launch at a mass level spreading awareness to the general public regarding the food and nutrients required for their body and how important it is in a life cycle. Awareness is something that can help people to make decisions regarding themselves and subjects which involve their interests. This whole can be done once the income level of the people increases.
Coming back to the incident of the government of India rejecting the global hunger index, it was not needed. Undernourishment shows how the government system has failed terribly. We have to accept that undernourishment is a problem India is facing and correction and prompt measures should be taken to solve this problem rather than focusing on non-beneficial topics or on what India’s rank is, is justified or not. No matter what the rank of India is in the global hunger index, we should understand that it’s the matter of our children‘s health -the future of our country which is at stake.
A healthy child will lead to a better and progressive future.