Hunger and Poverty in India: Implications for Development

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  • Topic: States and territories of India, Malnutrition, India
  • Pages : 14 (4508 words )
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  • Published : April 24, 2011
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Hunger and Poverty in India: Implications for Development
Vinay Kumar, K. V 1. , K. B. Umesh2 and Vilas Jadhav3

Abstract
Poverty and hunger are the social and the economic issues and they are the root causes of many problems in developing countries as well as in least developed countries. Millions of people in the world suffer from hunger, birth defects, malnourishment, nutritional deficiency, physical and mental disorders due to poverty and their inability to access food. Of the 1.17 billion population in India, there are about 450 million people (37.2 %) suffer from hunger. In this paper an attempt is made to assess the degree of hunger index across different states in India as well as at the national level [National Hunger Index (NHI)] along with the factors contributing for the same. For assessing hunger indices, the tool adapted and developed by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is used. The hunger index is based on three equally weighted indicators; the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five that are underweight, and the child mortality rate. An increase in a state’s hunger index score indicates that the hunger situation is worsening. The hunger indices provide an insight into the drivers of hunger and highlight the success and failures in hunger reduction. The analysis showed an improvement in NHI in 2008 (23.3%) over 1990 (31.7%) score, which is almost one quarter. Economic performance and hunger levels are inversely related, states with high levels of per capita income will tend to have low hunger scores. In order to reduce these hunger indices, there is a need for improvement of literacy rate and per capita Net State Domestic Product and to reduce the percentage population living below poverty line. To address these issues, governments have taken many developmental and institutional programmes to increase food production, income, employment including restructuring of markets and market intervention programmes. Introduction

Poverty and hunger are the social and economic issues and they are also the roots of many problems in developing countries as well as the least developed countries. As world population expands in these regions, the ability to provide basic necessities is threatened. Millions of hungers in the world suffer from hungry, birth defects, malnourishment, nutritional deficiency, 1 Masters Student, 2 Professor, and 3 Ph.D Scholar, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore-560 065. [Contact Author- Vinaykumar.5121@gmail.com] physical and mental disorders due to poverty and their inability to access food. One in seven people go to bed hungry every day. Hunger is one of the world’s major problems and therefore one of its most important challenges. People who are forced to live from hand to mouth are denied a life of dignity. Of 6.85 billion population of the world, there are about >1.02 billion people are suffering from hunger contributing to nearly 15 percent. Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing and under developed countries of the world (FAO, 2009). Of 1.17 billion population in India, there are about 450 million people (37.2 %) suffer from hunger. The main cause of hunger is poverty. The poor have no access to key resources and with this, they are denied a chance to shape their lives proactively. Poverty in combination with hunger results in a day to day struggle for survival with no prospects for the future. As per the report of IFPRI-2010, the GHI of the world in 2010 showed an improvement over the 1990, which has fallen from 19.8% to 15.1% almost one quarter which is indicated in table-1. The contribution of the proportion of malnutrition of children less than five years (prevalence of underweight in children under five years) in the world has declined by 2.6 points, the proportion of under five mortality rates and the proportion of undernourished population...
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