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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Superpower? 300m Indians go hungry everyday! Worse than Zimbabwe

According to the Global Hunger Index, India ranks 65th out of 88 countries, with a hunger rate of 23.9.

India, which was largely unaffected by the recent global economic slowdown, however, appears to have made little progress in tackling hunger and malnutrition. The situation remains 'alarming' in the country on this front.

Countries like Uganda (38th); Mauritania (40th); Zimbabwe (58th) and many others have a better record than India on this front. Even war-torn nations have managed to combat the scourge of hunger quite well, while India -- even though it boasts of being the second fastest growing economy in the world -- languishes far behind and millions in the country go hungry.

21 per cent of the Indian population was undernourished (between 2003 and 2005), 43.5per cent Indian children under the age of five were underweight (between 2002 and 2007) and the under five-years age infant mortality rate in 2007 was 7.2 per cent.

In September 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh projected a food stock of 50 million tonne. Yet, close to 300 million Indians go without food every day!

According to the World Bank, 46 per cent of Indian children below the age of five are underweight, and the World Food Program says that close to 30 per cent of the world's hungry live in India.

According to the 2008 Global Hunger Index, which is calculated by the International Food Policy Research Institute, India has close to 350 million people who are food insecure -- in other words, who are not sure where their next meal will come from.

To put that into context, that is the same as the entire populations of Germany, France and the United Kingdom all going hungry.


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