hunder in india

In a misleading and contemptuous remark about the Global Hunger Index Report, BJP leader Smriti Irani who is also the Women and Child Development Minister in the Modi cabinet, has dismissed the Global Hunger Index Report 2023 as having been prepared just by making 3000 random phone calls. Addressing a recent FICCI event in Hyderabad, she said that she did not get a chance to eat due to her hectic schedule that day and had she got a phone call asking if she was hungry she would have definitely said yes to that survey! 

This is not just a deliberate trivialisation of the Global Hunger Index which is being published annually since 2006 to track hunger and global progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. India is the only country which objects to this report which covered as many as 125 countries this year for which comprehensive data were available. Smriti Irani has earlier made similar dismissive remarks about the GHI in Parliament. Her remarks reflect utter contempt for the hungry and total lack of accountability for her own responsibility as Women and Child Development Minister. 

The Global Hunger Index focuses heavily on the state of health of children below five as measured by rated of child stunting (deficiency in height), child wasting (deficiency in weight) and child mortality. It also factors in the problem of undernourishment in relation to the overall population. This year's report found India to have dropped to 111 rank among 125 countries, an alarming fall of ten positions in the last two Covid-affected years. India has the worst child-wasting record and a high prevalence of anemia among young women in the reproductive age group which in turn adversely affects the conditions of India's children in economically and socially disadvantaged groups. 

Whenever in power, the BJP habitually makes a mockery of every global or Indian report critical of the plight of the Indian people. When asked by The Wall Street Journal in 2012 about the shocking incidence of wasting among under-five girls in Gujarat as reported by India's own NFHS report, Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM had attributed it to the growing figure-consciousness in Gujarat! The BJP’s development claims typically revolve around goods and services consumed by the rich to the utter neglect of the living conditions of the toiling masses. Smriti Irani's frivolous remarks reflect the BJP's pathological contempt for the poor.