Starvation: true facts
In being a self-sufficient nation in food production India starvation stats are shocking. A country with 60% agriculture bear the death of almost 10 million people each year due to food scarcity and 836 million Indians survive on less than Rs. 20 a day. While you are reading this post, almost 20 crore people are going to sleep hungry. It is a fact that 3,000 children die of malnutrition in the country every day. About 21 million tonnes of wheat are wasted in India and 50% of all food across the world meets the same fate and never reaches the needy which means that 50,000 crore worth of food is wasted each year in India. Malnutrition is one of the biggest problem that India needs to look up to. While so many people die of hunger, we continue to waste food. When on one hand people are praying for single meal, we reluctantly objects on the food our mother cooks. When people continue eating from the bins, we urges our parents to take us out to dine. Malnutrition is not the problem of food waste but more than that it’s a matter of food management. Starvation is an epidemic eating up the future of the nation. The future of the country is in the hands of its children, so when these children are at the edge of dying- can we imagine any better future? According to World Health Organization, the top ten causes of death through disease include the deficiencies of iron, vitamin A and zinc. A major obstacle in tackling starvation in India is the lack of proper implementation of government schemes which are made for providing food for one and all. Either there is corruption on the local levels or there is a objectivity among the authorities to secure that the schemes are properly being carried out.
What have we done to counter Starvation?
The government of India has launched several programs including the National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the Integrated Schemes on Oilseeds, Pulses, Palm oil and Maize (ISOPOM), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and of course the e-marketplace. All these initiatives were mainly taken to tackle the starvation issue of the country but unfortunately couldn’t accomplish its task. Maybe because of lack of execution. On paper, it might seem a lot is being done to manage the problems of starvation, but in reality, there have been too many reports of the benefits unreachable for the people who needed it the most. The main cause of it is of course corruption. Corruption starts at the very basic level in India- whether it’s a cobbler or a wealthy politician, we have seen corruption at all the grounds. From taking bribes to giving bribes, we all have performed it at some point in our lives. And when we argue about eradicating corruption- we forgets that we too are part of it.
Coming back to starvation, the major cause behind such massive malnutrition issue in India is food wastage. You will be shocked to know that most of the food that is wasted- is fit for human consumption. Grocery stores throws bins off food, farmers throwing potatoes which are not so good in shape for market, cooked food being wasted, restaurants or sandwich shops, we have never seen them selling sandwich with the crust bread. What about these food? They are totally fine for human consumption. On one hand we have problem of national starvation and on the other hand we have such massive production. And keep in mind that when we’re talking about food being thrown away, we’re not talking about rotten stuff, we’re not talking about stuff that’s beyond the pale. We’re talking about good, fresh food that is being wasted on a colossal scale. Each year India produces more food than it needs which means that on average we have twice as food on their food shelves than require to feed the whole country. We waste food even before the actual wastage starts whether it’s a lack of infrastructure, refrigeration, pasteurization, grain stores, even basic fruit crates, which means that food goes to waste before it even leaves the fields. We chop off forests to make space for fields, we drain out water when water is already in scarcity, we burn out fossils to provide LPG, and what for? Ending up food into waste bins? We now, definitely, needs to start thinking of what can we save. Food starvation is the problem associated with food wastage. People buy more food than they need and as a result, much part of it is wasted. The food is even wasted after being cooked, as people cook more than needed and hence the rest of the food end up into waste bins. We have to manage the food problem more smartly than before by planning our meal ahead of time and only purchasing as much as needed. If your cooked food is left, make sure to give it to the needy before it pales. Try using all the fruits and vegetables you have purchased from the market. These few steps can make the problem a little easier to tackle. If we can conquer food wastage and enlighten food management, maybe the actual problem could be sort.