India ranks 94 among 107 nations in extreme poverty; Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka fare better


NEW DELHI: India ranked 94 among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the ‘serious’ hunger category with experts blaming poor implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring, siloed approach in tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low ranking. Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries.

The neighbouring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too are in the ‘serious’ category but ranked higher than India in this year’s hunger  index. While Bangladesh ranked 75, Myanmar and Pakistan are in the 78th and 88th position.

Nepal in 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position are in ‘moderate’ hunger category, the report showed.

Seventeen nations, including China, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index, that tracks hunger and malnutrition, said on Friday.

According to the report, 14 per cent of India’s population is undernourished.

It also showed the country recorded a 37.4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent. The under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7 per cent.
Wasting is children who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition. Stunting is children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.

Data from 1991 through 2014 for Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan showed that stunting is concentrated among children from households facing multiple forms of deprivation, including poor dietary diversity, low levels of maternal education, and household poverty.

During this period, India experienced a decline in under-five mortality, driven largely by a decrease in deaths from birth asphyxia or trauma, neonatal infections, pneumonia, and diarrhoea, the report stated.

“However, child mortality, caused by prematurity and low birth weight, increased particularly in poorer states and rural areas. Prevention of prematurity and low birthweight is identified as a key factor with the potential to reduce under-five mortality in India, through actions such as better antenatal care, education, and nutrition as well as reductions in anaemia and oral tobacco use,” it said. 

India adopted the Garibi Hatao slogan in the 1970s, when Indira Gandhi as prime minister raised the slogan and won a parliament election. No serious efforts went into the cause, and the scenario steadily worsened through the later decades. A population bulge, which governments too did not help control, is one cause; and it stands at over 1.34billion now. Massive corruption in governmental levels fail to reach the gains of the welfare schemes to the poor, for most part. 

For every 100 rupee spent by the government, the gain to the intended groups is only of 18, as vested interests and middle men are on the prowl to grab their shares. This was stated by Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister in the late 1980s.The sceneario has worsened further since then. It today is outright loot.

Politicians and bureaucrats are largely into all corrupt deeds, and side with the corrupt too. India lacks strong leadership; and the Modi government running in its seventh year at a stretch now too has been a weak one, when it comes to solving the problems of the nation. –IHN-NNINDIA HERE AND NOW http://www.indiahereandnow.comRANKING

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