In another sign of the growing disconnect between economic growth and the upliftment of millions of citizens, a new report states that India ranks 65th out of 79 countries on a global hunger index.
The country lags behind neighbouring Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka in reducing hunger level. The results are particularly stark when one compares the growth of per capita income in the country with hunger levels.
India’s per capita income doubled between 1995 and 2010, according to the World Bank. However, its score on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) worsened between 1996 and 2001.Minor improvements in the past decade have brought the 2012 score around the 1996 level.
The report, titled ‘Global Hunger Index 2012’, released by three organisations, the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welt Hunger Hilfe and Concern Worldwide, states “India has lagged behind in improving its GHI score despite economic growth”.
The index that reflects the multidimensional nature of hunger, accounts for child mortality, the proportion of undernourished people in the population and the percentage of children under the age of five who are underweight.
The news comes despite successive governments having launched various nutrition schemes. But poor design, low coverage, and insufficient monitoring have turned them into multi-billion dollar leaky cauldrons. Among the regions, South Asia has the worst GHI — worse than Sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, Bangladesh ranks below India.