The Ugly Truth

According to an excerpt from an article dated 9 September 2010. “There’s an expectation of bumper crop production; the immediate worry remains where to store the grains. India, the world’s second-largest rice grower, may reap a bumper harvest of 100 million metric tons in 2010-11, up 10% from a year earlier thanks to more plantings in productive regions and better adoption of high-yielding seeds. Summer rice planting until Sept. 2 rose 6.6% to 31.87 million hectares thanks to normal monsoon rains, official data showed.”
Generally we read these kinds of articles. Ours is a country in which a government can lose its power because of the price hike in onions and most of the year we claim that the production has been very good this year. But the truth is still in our very own country kids are dying of malnutrition.
The World Bank estimates that India is ranked 2nd in the world of the number of children suffering from malnutrition, after Bangladesh (in 1998), where 47% of the children exhibit a degree of malnutrition. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world,  and is nearly double to that of Sub-Saharan Africa with dire consequences for mobility, mortality, productivity and economic growth.

Under-nutrition is more prevalent in rural areas, again mainly due to low socio-economic
status. Anemia for both men and women is only slightly higher in rural areas than in urban areas. For example, in 2005, 40% of women in rural areas, and 36% of women in urban areas were found to have mild anemia. According to statistics 36% of people are below poverty line and the concern is the state governments contradicts and feels this figure is less than the actual one. According to a program it is decided the food grains are first kept for below poverty line people and then are allocated to APL (above poverty line) people. But the matter of fact is it is just on paper.

We say we had a bumper crop but the people are hungry. Kids are dying due to malnutrition who form the backbone of  a country. Still the next superpower can’t provide its people with two square-meals. Is this the INDIA for which the freedom fighters lost their lives?  Even after 64 years of Independence people of this country go hungry to bed? These are just questions and we have the answers. We don’t need just one Anna Hazare we need thousands of them working in different fields.

Mukul Jindal