Status Of Starvation And Malnutrition In India
Post on 14,September 2019   3:00 PM
By - Miss. Vibha Yadav
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Starvation deaths continue to eat into the right to life and dignity of social fabric in the country. Hunger and malnutrition are, to a large extent, two sides of the same coin.

Causes
  • Productive assetlessness, remunerative joblessness and social and gender injustice and inequalities are the major causes and also destitution, illness, disability, old age, widowhood, etc. 
  • Inefficient and ineffective implementation of, and huge leakage in, government’s schemes meant to overcome hunger and malnutrition.
  • Centralization of governance, resources, decision-making, and development action as well as concentration of productive assets, resources and wealth in a few hands.
  • Lack of adequate political and social will.
  • Awareness among the beneficiaries.
  • lack of dis-aggregated data of district level and below up to Gram Panchayat.

Government moves and possible suggestion for effectiveness :To this giant problem government reacted as  National Food Security Mission, National Nutrition Mission, National Policy On Farmers, National Horticulture Mission, National Mission on Pulses and Oilseeds, National Rural Livelihoods Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act/Scheme, Mid Day Meal (MDM) etc.  Some of these critical measures are in the ‘mission mode’ to ensure their efficient and effective planning and implementation with missionary zeal, but still leave much to be done and desired as regards their effective implementation.

Interventions Envisaged
  • Recently in one petition to Supreme court some petitioners demanded  a "radical" new measures like community kitchens which is already a roaring success at state/regional level. 
    • Tamil Nadu's Amma Unavagam
    • Rajasthan's Annapurna Rasoi
    • Indira Canteens in Karnataka
    • Delhi's Aam Aadmi Canteen
    • Anna canteen in Andhra Pradesh etc.
  • It is also imperative to manage and minimize fluctuations in food grains production, diversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, and migration from villages/agriculture to urban areas/non-agricultural vocations.
  • There is a need for decentralized participatory production, storage, distribution and consumption, bottom-up from Gram Panchayat/Village to the national level rather than current centralized system.
  • Try to implement food security act in latter and spirit and current move of government regarding one nation one ration card is a good move in this direction.

Way ahead:India's vision can be seen in this statement of our former President “Our national mission must continue to be what it was……: to eliminate the curse of poverty….. There is no humiliation more abusive than hunger…… We must lift those at the bottom so that poverty is erased from the dictionary of modern India.” It requires social will alongside political will and well planned participatory massive decentralized efforts from top to bottom and bottom to top by all the stakeholders – government, rural and urban local bodies, CSOs, private sector, professional institutions, international organizations and donors to overcome the problem and achieve ‘zero hunger and malnutrition’.

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