It was my birthday last week, October 17th, and as much as I would like to enjoy a glass of fine wine and feel blessed. I am reminded of my annual pledge to volunteer or work on an issue that has always made me feel humbled and often inadequate- child hunger. This birthday I will not make an excuse on how overwhelming the issue is that I cannot make a difference. This birthday I will not tell myself that I need more time and other resources so that I can be more effective. I will start with this piece, and will endeavour to join the efforts towards eradication of child hunger. A small step and a heart filled with hope!
The statistics on child hunger is overwhelming. FAO’s news release on September 14, 2010 states that 925 million people in the world go hungry and 25% of this population are children! Pictures of starving children in developing countries such as India and Darfur are visible forms of hunger, but the lack of daily nourishment 2100 calories a day, is invisible and prevalent all around the world, name a country and the situation exists.
India will always be a country that will remain close to my heart, as it is where I was born. It is also the home to the largest population of malnourished children. We talk about the phenomenal development and material progress of India but India as I know is a land of paradoxes, it is modern yet still rooted in ancient traditions and it is a country where you have see so much wealth yet have large populations still go hungry. World Food Programme states that 25% of the world’s hungry poor live in India. Some of the main reasons that the disparity continues are because of the age old social caste systems which still exists, rural-urban divide and just plain lack of priority for the poor. India is the largest producer of wheat, grain and other food items and it has record high economic growth of 9% so India is its own solution, the only need is political will!