Posted by MD FARRUKH ILYAS Ilyas
June 12, 2017

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What counts is the only pain of poor in India!!!!! 

India faces severe food security questions. The current food distribution system is ineffective in many means. The distribution of food is questioned because of the high percentage of wastage and leakage. What’s more, the unequal income distribution further deteriorates the security. Overall, the hunger in India lies within the availability and distribution of food instead of production of food.

Hunger in India is devastating. About one-fifth of the Indians are routinely hungry because of lack of food. More people are undernourished due to the lack of nutritious food. Malnutrition is a serious problem for Indians, especially for the little Indian kids. As the study shows, 42% of the children are underweight and 58% of children stunted by 2 years of age. Roughly 3000 children in India die everyday due to poor diet. That’s about 2 kids every minute. Generally, people don’t realise that so many people are still in hunger, despite the fact that the developed countries are insanely wealthy.

India’s problem is not the production of food. In fact, as the result of agricultural innovation and generous farm subsidies, India produ

ces so much food that it has a grain stockpile only smaller to China’s stockpile. According to the article by Vikas Bajaj, India even exports some of its grains to other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Australia. However, India does not feed her people well. Overall, although India produces sufficient amount of grain, more Indians starve comparing to other developing countries such as China and Vietnam. Additionally, when there are foreign supports from the United Nations and many other countries and organisations, the hunger should not be as serious as it is now. However, It’s the exactly opposite. Sky-high production and availability of food don’t prevent hunger. In facts, the rise in production only helps hunger in India slightly. Vikas Bajaj calls this situation “the paradox”.


Food security literally means the security of food. Meaning, we have to make sure that sufficient, safe, and everyone can access nutritious food. According to the International Food Security Assessment: 2012-22, anyone who eats less than 2100 calories a day is considered food insecure. Food security is often broken down into 3 parts: availability, access, and utilisation. I will discuss those three topics later in the paper. Right now I am going to briefly introduce the public distribution system in India.

India’s notorious food distribution system is well known and acknowledged by many people. Although the public distribution system (PDS) in India has been in existence since 1997, it’s obviously not functioning effectively. The Public Distribution System aims to arrange good so that the poor will not stave. Firstly, the government buys the food from the farmers. The farmers are usually paid with higher prices than market prices. Then government stores the food it bought from the farmers and manages to deliver the food to subsidised shops so that the qualified people can go and buy cheap food. The problem is that the system doesn’t distribute the food in efficient ways. As the result, the people who urgently need the food cannot acquire food. Also, 85% of the farmers don’t get the subsidies from the government. What’s more, corruption within the system is also rampant; the officials routinely steal food from various levels of the distribution chain. From warehouse managers to shopkeepers, officials are making an underground profit from their dirty business. Officials working within the system can make $7250 a month while 727 million of the Indians live on less than $2 per day. Those corruptive officials benefit significantly from the poor. The system is a “loot” which deprives the food of the poor and benefits the officials, according to a former food minister. The objective of PDS is “benefits should reach all the consumers, and every farmer should be helped.” Obviously, this goal has not reached.

The system is currently ineffective and costly. The India’s government spend almost one percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on this system. The size of the system is unparalleled with its impact. According to an International Food Policy Research Institute, the system fails to solve the hunger. The percentage of Indians who are hungry changes very little in the last two decades despite the 50% jump in food production. The extra food produced is wasted in the sink. What’s more shocking is that only 41.4% of the grain government bought actually reaches Indian homes.


Right now the Indian government is just playing with numbers. The government resets the poverty line so that the lowered poverty line excludes many poor Indians. But the bar artificially created by government means nothing. The current conditions of the poor don’t improve significantly, according to the study over recent decades.

I was joking with my friends how to solve world hunger and one friend has told that you don’t feel hunger if you are really hungry. You feel indifferent as the result of over-starvation. But this is just a joke; we have to find possible working solutions for hunger in India. It’s a sophisticated problem that needs a lot of mathematical research in order to create an effective public distribution system. India definitely needs to try new ways to solve India’s hunger problem and reforms the current public distribution system.

The Hungry Buffs provides a good solution for us, yet the Indians are still suffering and hungry. As more people pay attention to hunger in India, we will solve the problem in the future. India is the second most populated country behind China. It has more than a billion people living in the country. There are roughly 800 million chronically hungry people in the world and one-third of the hungry life in India. If we can solve the hunger or alleviate the problem, we can contribute significantly to the world hunger.

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