There are more than 200 million people in India who sleep hungry everyday. Over 7000 Indians die of hunger day in and day out. More than 30% of the children born in India are underweight and a huge percentage of them and their mothers are anaemic as well. Add stunted growth and being wasted to their illnesses and you know the kind of danger you are looking at. These are staggering numbers (Source: http://www.bhookh.com/hunger_facts.php) for a country that prides itself in being one of the fastest growing economies on the planet.
So why are the numbers so high?
One of the primary reasons is the fact that for a huge percentage of the population which survives on less than $2 a day, having one meal is difficult let alone getting all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals required by the body. For such families, eating is just about trying to survive as the days go by. It’s such a different world far from the ones we live in surrounded by malls, multiplexes and the best international fast food joints.
Secondly, there is a huge lack of education and awareness regarding hygiene, health as well as nutrition required for everyone from children to adults. Whether its simple things like cleaning ones hands or plates before eating or stuff like the nutrition which needs to be given to children of different age groups, people really don’t know the importance or seem to care.
Thirdly, wastage is a persistent problem among those who have a lot to eat. We waste food because we don’t like what is cooked by our mothers, in restaurants, in offices and the likes. But do we ever appreciate the fact that we have so much to eat that we can afford to waste? There are millions who cannot even afford a meal.
So what has been done to tackle this?
The Government has started two schemes – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) to tackle this issue. While SSA ensures that free and compulsory education would be provided to every child from the age of 6-14, MDMS strives to ensure that no child would drop out of education because he or she was hungry. Hunger was always considered one of the prime reasons for young children to drop out of school since parents thought they would be more useful working in fields to provide for food.
Akshay Patra: A non – profit organization started in 2000 has played a key role in feeding more than 1.4 million children across 23 locations in more than 10 states of India as part of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The organization maintains kitchens in various locations and there are multiple quality checks to ensure the quality of the food is maintained throughout.
So what can you do?
– Support an NGO like Akshay Patra through monetary benefits or sponsoring meals for children
– Take part in your company’s CSR initiatives
– Blog and try to create awareness among individuals regarding hunger being the no 1 killer in the world
– Avoid food wastage and encourage others to do the same
– Encourage giving away left over food at weddings and parties to those who cannot afford a meal
Each of us can make a difference in one way or the other. Start now because the world needs us all to contribute and fast!
I tag 5 bloggers to take this forward by writing and helping feed 5 children and keeping them in school – Shashank, Prateek, Divyakshi, Agnivo, Ruchi. For each post we write, BlogAdda will feed 1 child for an entire year.