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Hunger: A Warning

Hunger: A Warning

Vijay Prashad

It was a very hot day at the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, where I met with a group of men and women at a local bus stand. They were itinerant laborers, people who move from one part of India to another in search of work. The city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat has a population of about six million people; among them are about 1.5 million migrants. Official figures from the Indian government suggest that there are 139 million internal migrants in India. This is likely a low figure.

“Who cares what the useless (non-)eaters hear inside their heads?”

A useful and helpful article but sadly fails to recommend a real solution to hunger. India is home to the largest under-nourished and hungry population in the world. Its gross domestic product has increased 4.5 times and per capita consumption has increased threefold. Similarly, food grain production has nearly doubled. However, despite the phenomenal industrial and economic growth and while India produces sufficient food to feed its population, the nation is unable to provide access to food to a large number of people, especially women and children.

On food wastage, despite being a food surplus country, food is wasted. It is estimated that nearly 40 per cent of the fruits and vegetables and 20 per cent of the food grains that are produced, are lost due to inefficient supply chain management. Food grains do not reach the consumer market. A report revealed that each year, wheat equivalent to Australia’s annual grain production is wasted in India. 67 million tonnes of food every year is wasted. That is more than the national output of countries such as Britain. One million tonnes of onions vanish on their way from farms to markets, as do 2.2 million tonnes of tomatoes. Overall, five million eggs crack or go bad due to lack of cold storage.

To protest is fine but what are the proposals. The problem is the capitalist system itself. To move forward, we, the dispossessed, must now look beyond the artificial barriers of nation-states and regional trading and military blocs, to perceive a common identity and purpose. There is in reality only one world. It is time we reclaimed it.

1 Like

Yes…the problem is the Capitalist sysrtem …it is nauseating…