India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index 2019 is 102 among the 117 countries. India finding its name at the bottom of the index is clearly a matter of grave concern. If we compare India’s performance with the past year, it has jumped one place, but India is not better off in comparison to the other countries.
Hunger index is aimed at achieving one of the most important sustainable development goals: “Zero Hunger by 2030”.
The hunger index goes beyond food deprivation; it actually measures the level of calories intake.
Why is India’s Poor Ranking a Matter of Grave Concern?
- India is the lowest ranked country among the BRICS groupings. China at 25 is far ahead of India.
- Within South Asia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan are ahead of India.
- India is also lagging behind Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, and North Korea.
- Countries that India is ahead of include Afghanistan, Haiti and Yemen. These countries are either ravaged by the war or don’t ruled by the elected representatives.
Reasons for India’s Slow Ranking?
India has fared badly in Child Wasting (at 20.8 percent). In India, number of children with low weight for their height has increased. The percentage of children under the age of 5 years suffering from wasting has gone up from 16.5 in 2010 to 20.8 now.
India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) has not been able to improve children’s growth and development, despite ensuring all households have a latrine construction.
The latest index is a reminder that Government of India’s newly launched scheme National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has a long distance to travel to make India malnutrition free by 2022.
India’s extremely high child wasting rate confirms that in order to tackle malnutrition, India will have to wage a war on several fronts: poverty, access to food, genetic predisposition, environmental factors, health and sanitation.