‘Plan panel’s methodologies conceal facts’
India is in the middle of an enormous chronic famine, a fact which many middle class is not aware, noted human rights activist Binayak Sen.
Sen, jailed by the Chhattisgarh government on charges of abetting Maoist activities and now out on bail, was delivering the NP Sen Memorial lecture.
Sen criticised the methodologies adopted by the planning commission to arrive at poverty estimates, which he said conceal a lot about the actual poor state of affairs in the country.
“Recently, the Prime Minister was expressing concern about malnutrition in children, but the condition is worse among adults also. While plan panel juggles with estimations, government data shows that 37% of adults have a Body Mass Index of 18.5, which is chronic undernourishment and could be cause for high mortality rates,” Sen, a pediatrician observed adding the situation is grim among SCs, STs and minorities.
Sen also stated that the plan panel, used reduced amount of calorie intakes as criteria, as against the ICMR standards.