Do India’s Politicians Care About Our Shocking Ranks On Hunger, Gender, And Environment?

Governments always talk about their achievements, not failures. They popularise their successes and hide certain facts from the public, which, if revealed, can shake their standing. However, undoubtedly, talking about these concealed or unpopular realities is in the interest of the nation, though this has always been a low priority for our political class.

The government has been making a big deal about India’s great jump in the “Ease of Doing Business” ranks, released by the World Bank. It is good news for India, however, of late, I have not heard talk of anything besides this rank from our government. India has been consistently faring poorly in almost all other global rankings and indicators. Forget about improvement, our ranks are undergoing degradation.

Made on Infogram. Source: Public Records.

If we see the above figures, it is evident that India’s position on social and environmental parameters in the global map is worrisome. As per the Global Hunger Index, India is getting hungrier year by year.

In terms of social inequality, we are doing terribly. There has been no improvement in the Gender Gap Index, and we are at our worst in the World Inequality Index, indicating the social crisis in the country. Our poor Human Development rank is not surprising given our other social performances.

Similarly, global warming is a serious concern for developing countries, yet we’re at the fourth last position in the Environmental Performance Index. Our cities figure among the top 15 most polluted cities of the world in a World Health Organisation report, and, in the recent past, India has not progressed even a little bit on this front. But have you heard any politician speaking about the environmental crisis? No. Political debate all over our media has never shown concern towards this issue.

The main reasons for such a socio-economic crises are those which have been plaguing India since Independence. Misgovernance, corruption, inefficient administration, lack of grievance redressal mechanisms and other obstacles exist even today and all governments have neither achieved much change in this regard, nor do they want to do something about it, if you ask me.

We expect our so-called leaders to talk about these issues and take significant action, but political discourse is going in an altogether different direction. Vote bank politics has become a priority. Nobody talks about health and education. I hear leaders promising to build temples, but not schools and hospitals. A one-hour media debate is only about right and left wing ideology, and it misses out on real developmental issues which have nothing to do with any ideology.

Our poor Global Hunger Index means many Indians suffer through malnutrition or starvation.

We are being diverted from the country’s most important issues. We have been neglecting our basic social problems and focusing only on superficial economic growth. We all boast about India by tagging it as a potential ‘superpower’, or the ‘largest growing economy’, but we have not even looked at the India which is fighting with patriarchy, caste, lynchings, communalism, unemployment, poor health, and the education crisis.

When people do not even recognise the existence of these problems, there is a serious need to bring attention to them. Politicians make us feel that everything is good and that India is at the peak of its development. But India’s performance in all these rankings belies such a rosy picture. We should not be satisfied with improvement our business rank alone. It is futile unless it is inclusive. There is no point in boasting about our high economic growth until it creates enough employment for our people.

There is a need to force leaders to talk about their promises on inclusive development and hold them accountable. There is a need to ask them questions about India’s miserable rankings on multiple parameters. We should not allow them to fool us with issues of religion and temples. We should speak about things which are yet to be spoken about.

Featured Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below