[Assam] More on Indian Hunger--From ToI
jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 27 09:33:15 IST 2009
At age 18 my BMI was below 18.5 (despite 8 miles daily running) -- now it is about 19 (jusr checked yesterday 5 feet 11, 136 lbs). Even those with higher BMIs (like in US it is otherway round -- people want less BMI - since the poor are fat more) may not be healthy . SInce poor in India are with less BMI -- being fat is considered a sign of prosperity -- noone ridicules me in the US for having less BMI (unlike in India whenever I visit relatives etc)
Is is better to have diseases of the poor (TB etc - thru malnutrition - millions in India have TB) or diseases of the rich (heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc)?
Ed.M. - International Education Policy
Harvard Graduate School of Education,
Class of 2005
http://www.uknow.gse.harvard.edu/index.html (Edu info)
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/ (Management Info)
www.gse.harvard.edu/iep (where the above 2 are used )
--- On Thu, 26/2/09, Chan Mahanta <cmahanta at charter.net> wrote:
From: Chan Mahanta <cmahanta at charter.net>
Subject: [Assam] More on Indian Hunger--From ToI
To: assam at assamnet.org
Date: Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 10:45 PM
India tops world hunger chart
27 Feb 2009, 0229 hrs IST, Kounteya Sinha, TNN
NEW DELHI: India is failing its rural poor with 230 million people being
undernourished - the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition
accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged
15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5).
According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India,
more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of
rising global food prices.
The report said that while general inflation declined from a 13-year high
exceeding 12% in July 2008 to less than 5% by the end of January 2009, the
inflation for food articles doubled from 5% to over 11% during the same period.
Foodgrain harvest during 2008-09 is estimated to be a record 228 million
tonnes. However, the requirement for the national population would exceed 250
million tonnes by 2015.
India ranks 94th in the Global Hunger Index of 119 countries, the report said.
Brought out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the report points
to some staggering figures. More than 27% of the world's undernourished
population lives in India while 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country
are underweight. The figure is among the highest in the world and is much higher
than the global average of 25% and also higher than sub-Saharan Africa's
figure of 28%.
More than 70% of children (under-5) suffer from anaemia and 80% of them
don't get vitamin supplements. According to the report, the proportion of
anaemic children has actually increased by 6% in the past six years with 11 out
of 19 states having more than 80% of its children suffering from anaemia.
Percentage of women with chronic energy deficiency is stagnant at 40% over six
years with the proportion in fact increasing in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and
Haryana during the same period.
The report said that the ambitious Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)
was failing. "Apart from failing to serve the intended goal of reduction of
food subsidies, the TPDS also led to greater food insecurity for large sections
of the poor and the near-poor. These targeting errors arise due to imperfect
information, inexact measurement of household characteristics, corruption and
inefficiency," the report said.
It added, "Another problem of the TPDS was the issue of quantity of grain
that a household would be entitled to. The TPDS initially restricted the
allotments to BPL households to 10 kg per month. For a family of five, this
amounts to 2 kg per capita. Using the ICMR recommended norm of 330 grams per
day, the requirement per person per month would be 11 kg and that for a family
of five would be 55 kg."
The Union Budget of 2001 increased the allotment to 20 kg per month and raised
it further to 35 kg in April 2002.
The report also questioned the government's definitions of hunger and
poverty. "The fact that calorie deprivation is increasing during a period
when the proportion of rural population below the poverty line is claimed to be
declining rapidly, highlights the increasing disconnect between official poverty
estimates and calorie deprivation," it said.
"Nutrition security involving physical, economic and social access to
balanced diet, clean drinking water, sanitation and primary healthcare for every
child, woman and man is fundamental to providing all our citizens an opportunity
for a healthy and productive life," said Prof M S Swaminathan.
Almost 80% of rural households do not have access to toilets within their
premises. The figure exceeds 90% in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa
The proportion of stunted children (under-5) at 48% is again among the highest
in the world. Every second child in the country is stunted, according to the
health ministry's figures.
Around 30% of babies in India are born underweight.
assam mailing list
assam at assamnet.org
More information about the assam