More

    People are hungry, says hunger watch survey

    Civil societyPeople are hungry, says hunger watch survey
    - Advertisment -

    People are hungry, says hunger watch survey

    Many households had to go to sleep without eating. 41 per cent of general caste households surveyed reported that they had to sleep without eating in the month preceding the survey.

    Findings from the second hunger watch survey conducted by the Right to Food Campaign and Centre for Equity Studies along with other partners shared today painted a grim picture.

    The survey covering over 6500 people from across 14 states showcased an alarming situation of food insecurity in the country and the need for greater investments in food entitlement and social protection schemes.

    The findings from the survey suggest that the average outstanding household debts are as high as Rs 15,000 and that 66 per cent reported that their incomes fell by over 50 per cent during the pandemic. 69 per cent of urban households reported significant drop in income due to COVID-19.

    - Advertisement -

    23 per cent of the households had incurred a health expenditure. 13 per cent reported a health expenditure of Rs. 50,000 or more. Close to three per cent of all respondents reported losing a family member to the COVID-19 pandemic and over 45 per cent said they had not received any compensation.

    84 per cent of respondents had access to PDS through a ration card and 81 per cent of those with ration cards got the free food grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

    Hungry to bed

    People had to go to sleep without eating. 41 per cent of general caste households surveyed reported that they had to sleep without eating in the month preceding the survey. It was lowest at 25 per cent among tribal families.

    As one of the surveyed respondents said, “Over the last few months, the food consumption of the family has fallen to a great extent.”

    The respondent, also the family’s sole breadwinner said that she used to earn between Rs 3,000 and 4000 a month, but that income has halved since the lockdown

    “There have been days when the whole family had to sleep without eating in the night due to lack of all ration in the household and the family was unable to afford. We have not consumed eggs, non-veg or fruits in the last one and half months.

    28 per cent of urban households experienced severe food insecurity, the hunger watch survey revealed, while 87 per cent of Muslim households experienced food insecurity.

    77 per cent of Hindu households too reported food insecurity, while 23 per cent reported severe food insecurity. 81 per cent of general caste households experienced some form of food insecurity as well.

    What should I cook?

    Over 60 per cent of the surveyed population was unable to eat healthy or nutritious foods when seen in the context of the FAO’s food insecurity scale. Nationally 80 per cent of the sample reported any form of food insecurity with a greater proportion lying in urban areas.

    Nationally, 41 per cent of households reported that their household consumption of cereals in the month preceding the survey was not sufficient. Cereal insufficiency was higher in urban areas (46 per cent) than in rural areas (38 per cent).

    Less than a third of the respondents had green, leafy vegetables and up to 60 per cent of households had not eaten eggs, meat, fruits or any nutritionally rich food more than three times in the month preceding the survey. The analysis reveals that dietary quality poorer in urban households than in rural households.

    The right to food campaign that conducted the survey quoted a Delhi home-maker as saying this: “What should I cook? We did not have any gas. So, I gathered stone and sticks and survived on khichdi for two months. Our condition has not changed much from that time. Sometimes there is food and other times there is no food.”

    The woman, who is a resident of Delhi’s Shivaji Nagar said “Bhaji (vegetables) has become a privilege. We have it once every five to seven days, that too without onion. We just mix it in khichdi and eat.”

    Imperatives for food security

    78 per cent of households eligible for maternity benefits and 36 per cent of the households eligible for pensions did not receive any transfers from these programmes.

    The survey was conducted by activists associated with the Right to Food campaign across the country. A number of students and volunteers also contributed to the data collection, cleaning, analysis and report writing.

    According to the earlier hunger watch survey conducted six months after the national lockdown was imposed in 2020, food consumption and incomes had not recovered. Over two-thirds of the respondents had then reported a decline in quality and quantity of food consumed.

    The right to food campaign has demanded that the public distribution system (PDS) must be universalised and include pulses, millets and oils.

    It also said that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) must be extended till such time that the pandemic continues and that mid-day meals and nutrition given in anganwadis must be revived fully and they must be improved to include eggs, milk and fruits.

    The campaign also demanded an increase in social security pensions, maternity entitlements and allocations for MGNREGA.

    - Advertisement -

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest news

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and associated infrastructure in livestock health sector across the country in...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development Report released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, none...

    UNICEF-Backed Report Says Pollution Killed 1.69 Lakh Children in India in 2021

    The State of Global Air report published in partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns on Wednesday that...

    A New Way to Spot Life-threatening Infections in Cancer Patients

    Leuko, founded by a research team at MIT, is giving doctors a noninvasive way to monitor cancer patients’ health...
    - Advertisement -

    Water Shortages Feared as Hindu Kush Himalaya Sees Second-Lowest Snow Persistence on Record

    In the Ganges River Basin, there has been significant fluctuations in the past twenty-two years. Prior to 2024, the...

    PM Releases Seventeenth PM-KISAN Instalment of Rs. 20,000 Crores

    The prime minister lauded the use of technology in taking the benefits to the deserved beneficiaries and also credited...

    Must read

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development...
    - Advertisement -

    More from the sectionRELATED
    Recommended to you