Editorial

Where Is Right To Food ?

Global Hunger Index 2020 report was published on Friday and India fares poorly in it. India was ranked 94 out of 107 countries on the Global Health Index (GHI). Even the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have better scores than India. According to the report, India has serious levels of hunger as it has secured a score of 27.2 which comes in the ‘serious category.’ GHI calculates and compares the levels of hunger across the different countries so that it can notify the concerned nation against the alarming situation of ‘wasting’ or ‘hunger’ in the country. According to the report, only 13 countries are behind India, which include Rwanda (97), Nigeria (98), Afghanistan (99), Libya (102), Mozambique (103), Chad (107). It also showed the country recorded a 37.4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent. The under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7 per cent. Significantly in india government drumming for implementation of right to food. But question raising if there is right to food, than why India fares poorly in hunger index? The findings are significant in the light of the fact that India performs abysmally on many nutrition indicators even while the country claims to have achieved food security. The National Institute for Nutrition’s guidelines for a nutritionally adequate diet call for adult women to eat 330 gm of cereals and 75 gm of pulses a day, along with 300 gm of dairy, 100 gm of fruit, and 300 gm of vegetables, which should include at least 100 gm of dark green leafy vegetables. Selecting the cheapest options from actual Indian diets — wheat, rice, bajra, milk, curd, onions, radish, spinach, bananas — the study calculated that a day’s meals would cost ₹45 (or ₹51 for an adult man). Even if they spent all their income on food, 63.3% of the rural population or more than 52 crore Indians would not be able to afford that nutritious meal. If they set aside just a third of their income for non-food expenses, 76% of rural Indians would not be able to afford the recommended diet. This does not even account for the meals of non-earning members of a household, such as children or older adults. Its time to think take decisions and implement them.

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