argylesock says… This is an exciting story, but one which leaves me uncertain of my opinion. Like Janina at Food (Policy) for Thought, I see the need for Indian people to get fed but I don’t know whether a centralised food subsidy is the best solution. It seems to me that this story could develop into one resembling the story of the British Welfare State – a story in which people still disagree.
Here is a mind-boggling Sunday statistic for you: India is estimated to have more undernourished people than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined. I had to re-read that sentence three times before really grasping its consequences. I think especially in academia, we are now so used to think of India as an “emerging economy”, a “model of growth”, so used to talk about its burgeoning IT sector and to see really smart Indian students join our universities that we forget about the fact that 43.5% of its children under the age of 5 are underweight, and that 19% of the total population is undernourished.
This may however be one of the reasons that my Google alerts to articles mentioning the “right to food” have recently been dominated by articles talking about India, since the country stands closely before a landmark legislation that translates the human right to food into concrete policy.
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