Skip to main content

Dalits, Adivasis disproportionately affected by poverty, pushing India's Global Hunger Index to 97th rank: Report

Undernourished population (%) among BRICS nations
By Rajiv Shah
An India case study, supplementing the report “2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI)”, which ranks India 97th in GHI among 118 countries, has regretted that “by contrast, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, all of whom share the BRICS high table with India, have a single-digit score” in undernourishment.
While the 2016 GHI report has been prepared by  prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the case study has been published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
Worse, the case study says, “India’s neighbours, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, have better GHI scores as well.” The GHI report shows, Bangladesh ranks 90th, Sri Lanka 84th, Myanmar 75th, and Nepal 72nd.
“Although the country has managed to reduce instances of stunting among children by nearly half in the past decade compared to the previous one, India remains home to one-third of the world´s stunted children. It therefore falls into the ‘serious’ category in this year’s GHI”, the case study notes.
Pointing out that rainfed agriculture supports nearly 40% of India’s population, the case study notes, “These farmers are highly sensitive to drought, which can cause crops to fail and lead to spiralling debt.”
“In total, 22% of its population lives below the poverty line”, the case study says, adding, “At the same time, it is home to 84 of the world’s billionaires. India’s top 1% own more than 50% of the country’s wealth.”
“It is the world’s second largest food producer and yet is also home to the second-highest population of undernourished people in the world”, the case study points out.
Referring to the recent National Food Security Act (NFSA) in 2013, a law seeking to “provide for food and nutritional security by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity”, the case study says, it has “changed the nature of discourse on food, making it a human right and putting the onus on the state to guarantee basic entitlements.”
Under five mortality rate (%) among BRICS nations
“However”, wonders the case study, “the question is whether the quality of life has actually improved for everyone… ", adding, the system has altered the food habits of large sections, making them “dependent on rice and wheat and eliminated traditional diet diversity, thereby reducing the micronutrient content of the food on their plates.”
Those who have suffering the most, the case study says, are “the poorest people in India”, especially those who belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – “traditionally oppressed classes for whom the Indian constitution provides special affirmative provisions to promote and protect their social, educational and economic interests.”
“Dalits and Adivasis are overproportionally affected by poverty”, it says, adding, “47% of the rural tribal population lives below the national poverty line, compared to the national average for rural areas of 28%.”
“The level of poverty and food and nutrition insecurity of the tribal people continues to be a major issue, despite the affirmative action put in place by the architects of India’s Constitution for their protection and welfare”, the case study says.
In case, the case study notes, “The Adivasis have borne witness to the appropriation of their lands, destruction of their environment and commoditisation of their traditional knowledge – a lopsided bargain which has come at the cost of their way of life and well-being, beginning with their health and the security of resources for future generations.”
“Safeguards such as informed consent have been thrown to the winds in the rush to acquire and trade forest produce and land on a large scale”, it further points out, adding, “Covering 11 states, it shows that every second Adivasi child is stunted, 68% of Adivasi mothers are less than 20 years old, 48% are undernourished and 76% are anaemic.”
The case study says, “The risk of severe stunting is nearly twice as high among girls aged 6-23 months compared to boys. This may be due to food distribution practices within households and gender discrimination, resulting in woman receiving less food or men being served the best portions.”

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Hyderabad-based Urdu university "bars" entry of its new chancellor, who had "initiated" reforms in institute

Counterview Desk
In an unusual controversy, Aslam Parvaiz, vice-chancellor of of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) has restricted the entry of its newly appointed Chancellor, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, allegedly because he was trying to initiate reforms, including setting up of a Maulana Azad Center for Composite Culture and Progressive Studies, Model Madrasa, Center for Empowerment of Muslim Women, Course for the Development of Legal Vocabulary and Legal Consciousness in Urdu, and so on.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”