There is a bad condition of starvation in India. The people of India are suffering from hunger. Here the condition of food production and its distribution are so bad that the people of the country are not getting food and are dying of hunger. This is what the “Global Hunger Index-2022” is telling. But are these conditions a reality or to defame India?
India Supplied Foodgrains to Sri Lanka
The first thought that comes to mind after reading this full report is, out of all the conspiracies that are being propagated to reduce the glory of India becoming the most powerful nation in the world, this is clearly visible. It is heartbreaking to read the entire report to see how international agencies are falling prey to a particular narrative and are losing credibility. The agencies which released this report are non-government organisations ‘Welthungerhilfe’ of Germany and ‘Concern Worldwide’ of Ireland. Both of them did not bother to pay any attention to the fact that in Sri Lanka where people were not getting two rotis in a day, India supplied that country not only with food grains but also all the items related to daily life, which are essential for human life.
Similarly, in Pakistan, the cost of one kg of flour is generally Rs 110 and in a city like Karachi, it has become Rs 125 per kg. Wheat is being sold at the rate of Rs 88 to Rs 105 per kg. That country has also been put ahead of India in this hunger calculation report. Not only this, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal are also in a better position than India according to this report. Report says that compared to their previous report, India has dropped down to number six.
In the list of 121 countries, Pakistan is ranked 99th, Sri Lanka 64th, Bangladesh 84th, Nepal 81st and Myanmar 71st, while India’s rank is 107th. The report states that South Asia, the region with the highest hunger levels in the world, has the highest child stunting rate and it is 19.3 per cent in India, which is the highest in any country in the world.
The prevalence of malnutrition in India has increased from 14.6 per cent in 2018-2020 to 16.3 in 2019-2021. This means that out of the total 828 million people around the world, 22.43 million people in India are undernourished. “Child stunting”, the biggest indicator of mortality among children under the age of five, has also worsened. It has increased from 15.1 per cent in 2012-16 to 19.3 per cent in 2017-21.
‘Misinformation Is the hallmark of Global Hunger Index’
The Indian Government on October 15 rubbished the Global Hunger Report 2022 saying it has an erroneous measure of hunger and suffers from serious methodological issues.
“Misinformation seems to be the hallmark of the annually released Global Hunger Index,” read a statement released by the Indian government after Global Hunger Report 2022 placed India on 107, below neighbouring countries Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
“The index is an erroneous measure of hunger and suffers from serious methodological issues. Three out of the four indicators used for the calculation of the index are related to the health of Children and cannot be representative of the entire population. The fourth and most important indicator estimate of the Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population is based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of 3000,” the statement further added.
The statement also said that the Global Hunger Index Report is not only disconnected from reality but has also deliberately ignored efforts undertaken by the Government to ensure food Security for the population, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking a one-dimensional view, the report lowers India’s rank based on the estimate of the Proportion of the Undernourished (PoU) population for India at 16.3 per cent. The FAO estimate is based on the “Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)” Survey Module conducted through Gallop World Poll, which is an “opinion poll” based on “8 questions” with a sample size of ‘3000 respondents’,” the statement said.
The Government said the data used to arrive at the rating drawn from a narrow sample for a country of India’s size and through dubious methods is not only wrong & unethical, but it also reeks of obvious bias. It also accused the Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, the publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, of not having done their due diligence before releasing the report. The Central Government highlighted the prejudice and erroneous method used by the agency, pointing out how irrelevant, and questions not searching for factual responses were used in the survey to arrive at the Hunger Index.
According to the report, India is also included in 21 countries where the problem of hunger is considered very serious. So much so that India is 25 places below Nepal and seven places below Pakistan. India’s GSI score is 29.1, which falls in the severe category.
At present, those who are trying to surround the Central Government on the basis of this “Global Hunger Index-2022” or are trying to call India weak, should first introspect why this report deliberately ignores the efforts made by the Government to ensure food security for the population? The report also makes a mockery of the IMF report which clearly congratulated the Indian Government for eradicating poverty. .The Hunger Index appears to be measuring facts incorrectly. Because out of the four indicators used to calculate the index, three are related to the health of children which may not represent the entire population. The fourth and most important indicator of the proportion of the undernourished (POU) population is estimated based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of three thousand. In which there is no mention of ensuring food security for the population, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic.
There is a well-planned attempt to defame India at the international level. It seems that this report is to appease the anti-India lobby and are unable to bear India’s growing global power. Some organisations and nations are not able to bear the growing international role of India. A new image of India is visible globally full of development and prosperity
Taking a wild guess, the report depicts malnourishment which is completely wrong. Because the population of India is currently 1,404,234,872 (140 crores). 18 out of every 100 people in the world live in India. Then the samples should have been 1,40,00000 (10 per cent of population as per rules of good research) collected keeping in mind such a large population in that situation, which was not done at all while preparing his report. The understanding here is that an attempt has been made to portray India as a nation that is not able to provide the food security and nutritional needs of its population. Whereas, seeing the current conditions of the country with a growing economy that has progressed to become the fifth largest economy in the world, so it is glaring that this report is not credible from any angle.
The fallacy of this report is also understandable that in Asia, only Afghanistan is behind India and it is at 109th place! In the end, after analysing the facts deeply, it will be said that the figures shown in the context of India in the “Global Hunger Index-2022” are false. There is a well-planned attempt to defame India at the international level. It seems that this report is to appease the anti-India lobby and are unable to bear India’s growing global power. Some organisations and nations are not able to bear the growing international role of India. A new image of India is visible globally full of development and prosperity. This is a malicious attempt to divert everyone’s attention from the growth of India and set a negative narrative by giving a false report , because if this was not true, then in that case everyone would assume that India could never have been placed below Pakistan and Sri Lanka in this report. Rather it should be said that many countries of the world and SAARC countries, in comparison with which India is ahead in many ways, which is not mentioned in this report. I expected these NGOs to work better with appropriate sample and research methodology.