The Imminent Danger!
The human beings started living in groups in order to survive, and thrive: quench their thirst, and satisfy their hunger. However, the human beings are yet to conquer their greatest adversary: Hunger!
In 2019, 3000 million of the world’s 7800 million population did not receive adequate nutritious food, while 690 million people were suffering from hunger and malnutrition! Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, hunger has increased rapidly. The only way to deal with this is not only to think of some additional allocations for local nutrition projects. The problem of food security and malnutrition has become a serious issue. The UN has warned that 130 million people could starve to death by the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is almost certain that there will be a number of Indians among them. In fact, India was moving slowly, but steadily in its efforts to curb hunger. Unfortunately, the pandemic has pushed the South Asian nation backwards…
According to a survey carried out by the UN and other international organisations, the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition has decreased in India by at least 60 million in 2019 as compared to 2018. This can well be considered a success because the number of hungry people in the world as a whole has increased by 10 million. The people were saved from poverty and malnutrition at great expense and effort. A little carelessness could force them to return to the danger. Therefore, just as the coronavirus epidemics need to be tackled, there is a need for an international policy to tackle the resulting hunger and malnutrition.
The second important point is that the solution is not out of reach. The UN has reminded the global community that the Earth has enough resources. The World Body has said that it is possible to produce enough food to feed billions of hungry people. These people fail to get food because of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. The State would have to eliminate inequalities and meet the basic requirements of every citizen in order to tackle hunger.
The COVID-19 pandemic has paralysed some of the projects needed to ensure food security in India. Malnutrition in children is a major problem in this country. Even the UN has stated that although the overall situation of hunger has decreased in India, the growth rate of children is not at all satisfactory. Therefore, India must act now to eradicate child malnutrition. One way to fight child malnutrition is to supply home-made food with anti-viral transmission oriented precautions to backward areas. It could be done with the help of self-help groups and Government employees.
To ensure overall nutrition is also important. The Government still believes that free distribution of food grains, like rice and wheat, could help attain food security. However, protein and vitamin deficiencies are the main causes of malnutrition in India. Hence, the Government would have to take necessary steps in order to maintain adequate supply of protein-rich food, as well to keep their prices affordable. In other words, the State would have to adopt the policy of overall nutrition. Else, the pandemic of malnutrition, and not the COVID-19, would weaken the base of the nation, considerably!
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