Wordless Saturday

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article477735.ece

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A fresh estimate from the ministry of food processing says a whopping Rs 58,000 crore (Rs 580 billion) worth of agriculture food items get wasted in the country every year. This, according to government figures that usually underestimate negative social indicators.

Rough calculations show that the wasted produce could feed around 23.2 crore (232 million) people below the poverty line in rural areas.
According to the National Sample Survey Organisation, monthly consumption of over Rs 211.30 in rural areas is above the poverty line; Rs 454.11 per month is the mark set for urban areas.The recently-released National Family Health Survey-3 and assessments by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have shown that 45.9% of Indian children under three are underweight, 38.4% are stunted, and 19.1% wasted.
Comparatively, only 10% of China’s children are underweight. India is home to the highest number of undernourished people in the world,says Dominique Frankefort, WFP-India’s deputy country director. This is nearly one-third of the world’s underweight children
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New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS)India is home to the largest number of undernourished people in the world, and the country director of the United Nations World Food Programme (UNFP) says that malnutrition in tribal areas is a vicious cycle of underdevelopment, ignorance and unemployment that requires a multi-pronged solution. Malnutrition among children below the age of three is pegged at nearly 44 percent against the sub-Saharan average of 25 percent in Africa, said Gian Peitro Bordignon, country director and India representative for the World Food Programme (WFP).
“In Chhattisgarh, one of the most backward tribal states in the country, nearly 50 percent of people in villages suffer from malnutrition. The food situation is pre-occupying,” Bordignon said.
The problem of hunger in Chhattisgarh’s tribal areas is complex, Bordignon said.According to him, it is a vicious cycle of underdevelopment, marked by total absence of income generating activity, ignorance and security-related problems that have led to lax supervision of food delivery programmes. This means reduced accessibility of the people to basic food items.
“The tribals in Dantewada don’t drink milk because they believe cow milk is meant solely for calves, not humans. As a result, they don’t milk their cattle. The tribals have limited access to fresh vegetables and fruits, and their intake of minerals and vitamins is inadequate,” he said.
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Though my thought was to spread the pathetic condiiton of starved people across world,and to what extent do we,India,one among the largest producers fo food ,waste food, I have some different in mind now.. Does the condition mentioned about Dandewada and Chathisgarh,have got something do to with the naxalism happening there? I remember somebody asking me why don’t naxals go to court or contest in election..Are we talking about these people,who hardly have even food to eat?
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  1. That’s heaps of wastage 😦
    A very sad state of affairs indeed 😦

    we all need to get more responsible in our behavior to seek solution to problems as grave as this.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Yes..indeed sad state of affairs.. solutions are simple..Provide adequate infrastructure for harvesting and storage and finally distribution..In a country like India,it can easily be done,than said…

  2. Good post Nimmy. I always wonder how policy makers thinks and burecrats acts despite nowing all this sad state of affairs. May be they have become passive ! I read a book ” Everyone Loves a Good Drought by P Sainath “. It has opened my eyes that developent schemes are worse things that can be proposed by government for the upheaveal of the people. And we care more about GDP and share markets than HDI factor. Every public sector is looting tax money and returning little or nothing.

    HDI : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

    • Thanks for a the link..I hardly knew the latest developed countries..

      “t has opened my eyes that developent schemes are worse things that can be proposed by government for the upheaveal of the people. ”

      How can that be so? Agreed that officials will take their part,but at least a few drops will reach the needy right?

      • Nimmy, Project are starting for the money they bring to the region, not for the people or anyone else. The government’s target is not proper implementation but only “fulfilling the target” . Since, these projects excludes the people from decision making process. We have built a health system for doctors, pharmacists and contractors, definetly not for patients. Its never about the fund but about commitment. Yes, few drops will reach to the needy but majority is grasped by well educated and empowered elite and middle class. Sociopolitical change is best when organic—rising from the bottom rather than imposed from the top—the odds of assimilation improve dramatically. There is something wrong with this model of development and we aren’t making government accountable for this.

        We are 127 th no. in HDI index, why ?

        Atanu Dey asked 10 very relevant questions and writes that the search for answers to those questions “is the start for the path to reclaim India. Our so-called leaders have failed us. It is up to us now to change the course of our nation.”

        • Why is India still poor?
        • Why have the numbers of Indians below the poverty line doubled to more than 500 million since 1947?
        • Why doesn’t India have a decent education system?
        • Why are 70 percent of Indians still stuck in tiny villages in the 21st century?
        • Why is 60 percent of the labor force involved in agriculture?
        • Why is India’s industrial base so small?
        • Why doesn’t India generate sufficient electrical power?
        • Why doesn’t India have a modern rail network?
        • Why doesn’t India have a serviceable road network?
        • Why is India so unfriendly to business and entrepreneurship?

  3. There’s certainly a link between underdevelopment and naxalism. But don’t justify naxalism using this. Even Afghanistan is underdeveloped. That doesn’t mean that the terrorists fighting because of poverty.

    Naxalism has become quite separate from the people it’s supposed to protect. If not, the naxals would give some of their money to help the poor people whom they claim to represent. That’s what a “robin hood” would have done. Not tried to kill innocent people.

    Where do the naxals get money to buy sophisticated guns, mines and armor from? They get a cut of all the business in the area. They get 70 cr per year from mining alone. Their total income is 1400 cr annually. Let them use that money to do some good, feed people. It’s more than enough money to take the government to court for all the wrongs done to the people and form their own party.

    I reject the idea that the naxals are fighting for the people. They’re gangsters and terrorists who only care about power. If they didn’t, they would not kill innocent people.

    • I agree with Bhagwad, the same money – used for buying guns could be used to buy food? No?

    • Bhagwad , i am not obsessed with naxals or their ideology..They are fighting against the state. Can you deny that the state has not wrong them in any way?

      My one and only point is,it is our,the state’s failure that enemies of country are making use of sad state of affairs in our country as opportunities to instabilize us. The enemy provides them with arms and not with sacks of rice..If we had bothered to care about them and provided them enough of food and clothing,a bare minimum necessity,naxals would not have gained this much support among tribals,the unprivileged ones.. I am talking for those tribals,not those who take arms..

      As you said,maybe naxals are not fighting for people..But who else is doing it ? The source you provided said,”Two farmers were arrested for the cultivation but none identified the ultras who had asked them to grow the banned substance.” If the state had been powerful enough to support that farmer,would he have done this act,which in turn is as being an enemy of the country..

      Sorry i need to go now….

  4. I don’t have the guts to read this article, Nimmy. I am choking, looking at the picture itself. Feel guilty.

    • sunder
    • June 27th, 2010

    Quote-
    I remember somebody asking me why don’t naxals go to court or contest in election..Are we talking about these people,who hardly have even food to eat?

    Unquote- then wherefrom they get ammunition? when they have money to get ammunition, how can they be malnurished?

    how come anyone can have a heart to enter into violence?

    Instead dont you think they can fight election? it is just another form of violence…

    i think to solve naxalism , political parties have to really work hard to eradicate…

    ok coming to your point, do you have any idea how these foods are wasted? i saw a recent newsitem, where they showed thousands of tons of wheats stored in open yard getting spoilt due to rain…we produce foodgrains, but dont have the money to build warehouses…..

    • Yes,you are right Sunder… Proper storage and outright retailing can solve issues to a great extent…

  5. There should be some way to reach all the wasted food to those who need it…

  6. heart breaking pic..

    I am not sure if condition in chattisgarh is cuz of naxalites..

    I am more heart broken when I see lots and lots of food being wasted in office canteen everyday…

    I wish we could fine people for wasting food at least in corporate office and donate the money collected to the needy..

    but again i fear of corruption and this money going in wrong hand..

    Off topic:
    How are you? I do remember you.. you CS pride.. and we have a *lot*(laughs) in common ryt….

  7. Food is wasted everywhere and every year 😦 😦 but then I don’t believe much in statistics as they may be misleading..

    as for naxalities I will blame only the government for its inefficiency and I am really sad about the death CRPF men who are not responsible persons….

  8. There should be some way to reach all the wasted food to those who need it…

  9. Chattisgarh – “one of the most backward tribal states in the country,” ????? really??
    I have been living in CG since my birth and I have never heard or read about CG being so backward and tribals being so malnourished!!!
    Must research more on this and then comment.

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