Folks, this edition of Incredible India focuses on the hundreds of millions in India who go to bed hungry every night in India’s countless villages.
We present below an excerpt from the recent Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India jointly prepared by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).
The increase in severity of food insecurity can be gauged from following points:
* The proportion of population consuming less than 1890 kcal/cu/diem has in fact increased in the states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan and marginally for Punjab.
* Almost 2/3rd of rural households in Jharkhand did not have access to safe drinking water in 2001.
* More than 90 percent of rural households in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh did not have access to toilets within their premises.
* As many as eight states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have shown increase in the incidence of anaemia among women in the reproductive age group. The highest increaseÂ in anaemia levels has been observed in Andhra Pradesh (51 to 64 percent), followed by Haryana (48 to 57 percent) and Kerala (23 to 32 percent).
* The proportion of women with CED has drastically increased for Assam (28 to 40 percent) followed by Bihar (40 to 46 percent), Madhya Pradesh (42 to 45 percent) and Haryana (31 to 33 percent).
* 12 out of 20 states under consideration have figures higher than 80 percent for proportion of rural anaemic children. Bihar, that already had a high figure of 81 percent, has further increased to 89 percent.
* The proportion of rural stunted children in Karnataka has increased from 39 to 43 percent.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, India has the maximum number of chronically hungry people in the world.
For the 2003-2005 period, India had 230.5 million undernourished people. That’s nearly 31 million more than in the 1995-97 period.
This means that 21% of India’s 1.12 billion people were undernourished in 2003-2005, same as in the 1995-97 period, according to the FAO’s The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008.
Mera Bharat Mahan.