Global Hunger Index: India slipped from its 2020 position of 94th to 101st.
by Vikas Meshram 31 October 2022
The recent statement of our finance minister regarding the dollar and the rupee gives some indication of the same. In this statement given in New York, he said that the value of the rupee has not decreased, the position of the dollar has strengthened. Depreciation of rupee or appreciation of dollar means the same thing. It is true that the currencies of many other countries in the world have also depreciated, but this does not change the fact that in 2014, one dollar worth of goods cost about forty rupees, now it costs more than eighty rupees.
The difference between the value of the dollar and the rupee may have more meaning in economic terms, but such statements by experts leave the common man confused.
This game of confusion is often played by our politicians. An example of such a game is being spread around the Global Hunger Index. A recent statement by an international organization has expressed concern that India’s position in the World Hunger Index table has worsened slightly compared to last year. In this list of 121 countries, India is now ranked 107th, while last year i.e. in 2021, India was ranked 101st out of 116 countries.
The Global Hunger Index is a measure to measure the level of hunger in the world and according to it India’s position in terms of hunger is worse than neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. Only Afghanistan is below us in this list. This list would have reminded our leaders of the seriousness of the situation and made statements about what they were going to do to improve the situation, but our leaders knew the intent at the international level. The organization that issued the list. The government has raised doubts about it. They think that some foreign agencies are deliberately trying to defame India.
The organization has defined four criteria for determining the hunger index, three of these four factors are not directly related to hunger but to undernutrition of children under five years of age. On this basis, the government says that India is confusing the global index.
However, instead of questioning statistics and motives, one should try to understand the situation and find ways to improve it. It is true that today there is no shortage of food grains in our country and 80 crore people are fighting hunger with free extra food grains. But the state of employment and inflation in our country is only showing the effectiveness of government efforts. Whatever else should be done in this direction is not happening. The unemployment situation is such that, despite all claims and promises, people in urban and rural areas are wandering in search of livelihood. Former World Bank Economist Kaushik Basu had said some time ago that one out of every four youths in our country is unemployed, that is 25 percent unemployment is a situation only for the youth and the elderly are also facing unemployment.
It is true that unemployment is a challenge all over the world, but ignoring it does not mean getting rid of the problem. Problems like unemployment, poverty, inflation, health need to be tackled. This is only possible when the existence of problems is acknowledged. It is by no means justifiable to question the motives of those who draw attention to these issues.
Unemployment, inflation, health and poverty are our biggest problems today. To ignore them is to ignore ourselves. The way inflation is rising today is a dangerous situation. Inflation and unemployment are weakening the social fabric of the country. This situation should be improved. Just as sweeping garbage under the carpet does not make it clean, ignoring these problems will only increase the severity of the problem.
Giving free foodgrains to 80 crore people during Covid was a necessary and good action, but it makes sense to continue the process even now. But the solution to the problem is not free food but the problem needs to be eradicated from the root. Why has poverty increased so much that eighty crore people have to spread their hands like beggars even for dry bread? There is a need to find an answer to this ‘why’, there is a need to create a situation where this ‘why’ does not exist. This is only possible if we first consider it necessary to understand the situation. In plain words, we have to admit that unemployment and inflation are our problems. The value of the rupee has not decreased, the value of the dollar has increased, so it will not make a difference, he said. A knife fell on a melon or a melon fell on a knife has the same meaning and implications. This is a sliced melon. In the situation that is emerging in the country today, the common citizen of the country is getting confused. His problem needs to be looked at above petty politics. Only then reality will be seen, only then reality will change.