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Falling Hunger Rank Sees Relief Initiation in Haryana

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The recently announced Global Hunger Index (GHI-2017) is indeed an alarm bell for India. The country ranked 97 in GHI-2016 but has slipped to 100 this year.

Concerned about India’s falling rank on the Global Hunger Index, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation’s Haryana chapter is launching a campaign against hunger. This will aid in eradicating hunger and malnutrition from Haryana.

As per Haryana government’s Vision 2030 Document, released recently by chief minister ML Khattar, hunger eradication from the state is one of its foremost goals. In keeping with the state government’s vision, the foundation is to launch the campaign #ZeroHungerHaryana.

The campaign will bring together the government, corporate houses, MNCs, startups, celebrities, activists, and volunteers in support of the cause. United with the mission to eradicate hunger,the Foundation will work to enhance its kitchen capacity and reach so as to provide nutritious meals to more and more people.

Talking about the hunger index, Dhananjay Krishna Das, Vice Chairman, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, Haryana said, “GHI measures hunger not as lack of food but in terms of nutrition. The index has different parameters like under-nourishment (insufficient food or calorie intake), child wasting, child stunting and child mortality. We should not misinterpret the fall in rank as rise in starvation. It’s all about a complete, nutritious meal. We will do all that we can with our given resources to help beat hunger in the state.”

The food distribution system has improved and poverty is on the decline. But studies show that food subsidy and monetary benefits do not reflect in nutrition measured by per capita calorie intake, per capita protein intake, and per capita fat intake. There is a huge population that keeps complete nutrition on least priority and sticks to eating only to kill hunger. This is one reason why direct benefit transfers (DBT) are not recommended as a replacement of meal programs.

The war against malnutrition and hunger has to be fought on multiple fronts: better governance of nutrition-focussed schemes for children and mothers, improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and better access to health services for the poor.

Growth-stalled state of Haryana

34% of children under 5 years of age are presently stunted (height for age), 29.4% are underweight (weight for age) and 21.2% are wasted (weight for height). In last 10 years, the percentage of wasted children in Haryana has increased by 2.2% and the proportion of severely wasted children has increased from 5% to 9%.

Haryana faces a challenge given that WHO considers poor nutrition the single most important threat to world health. Malnutrition also compounds issues related to poverty, trapping individuals in its vicious cycle.

“Our vision is to ensure zero malnutrition amongst children and adequate, and safe and nutritious food for all residents of Haryana, particularly women of reproductive age, children and extra-vulnerable populations,” added Dhananjay.

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Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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