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  • Bhavya Mishra

POVERTY AND STARVATION





Poverty is the result of many economic conditions, so to solve the problem of poverty one has to go beyond the concept of poverty itself. Queen Marie Antoinette once said, "If

people do not have bread, give them cake." She had ridiculed poverty and starvation.

Ironically our leaders are not much better. In fact, do our leaders actually know the reality of India and do they actually care about it? Especially when India has reached 102nd position out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index of 2019. The fact that the situation in our neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Nepal is better than us and only a few African countries are behind us in this matter only adds to the adversity and urgency of the issue.


India has failed in all four parameters of hunger. These four standards are malnutrition,

child malnutrition, child mortality and the birth of vulnerable children. India is at the top in the world in terms of low birth weight children with 20.8 per cent of total such babies being born here. The mortality rate in children under 5 years of age is 4.8 per cent and the number of children with height and weight imbalance is 37.9 per cent. Only three countries lag behind India in this case currently! Will the problems of poor people plagued by inflation go away if the GDP rate falls to 6.1 per cent at the end of the financial year? Will it fill the empty stomachs of 82.8 crore people earning less than 20 rupees per day?

NO.

The harsh reality of modern India is that the food security and welfare programs for the poor are only on paper. People die of hunger because our system of food distribution is faulty and due to this most of the food grains rot in the government storehouses and cannot reach the real beneficiaries. The government's economic policies are not compatible with tackling poverty, hunger, unemployment etc. Suicides by farmers continue to increase despite relief measures provided by the government. At the same time, crime and violence have also seen an increase due to unemployment. Our leaders have to look at the bigger picture where their energy can be used towards the eradication of poverty through quick and comprehensive development. Along with this, the food distribution system will also have to be strengthened. At the same time, poor people have to be enabled to earn a livelihood so that they become self-reliant instead of depending on government assistance.


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