India has made progress in addressing hunger and poverty, but these issues remain significant challenges for good governance.
India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production over the past three decades. However, the country still faces a serious hunger problem, with undernourishment levels rising from 14.8% in 2014 to 16.3% in 2022. The 2022 Global Hunger Index ranked India 107th out of 121 countries.
Successive governments have implemented various measures to tackle hunger and poverty, such as:
- National Food Security Act
- Mid-day meal scheme
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
- National Nutrition Mission
- Zero Hunger Programme
- Eat Right India Movement
Despite these efforts, challenges persist:
- High poverty rate: Around 21.25% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day.
- Inequality: India has high levels of inequality and social exclusion, contributing to persistent poverty and food insecurity.
- Malnutrition: India is home to a quarter of all undernourished people worldwide. Stunting, wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent, particularly among women and children.
- Agricultural challenges: Unfavorable climate, poor infrastructure, and lack of economic incentives hinder agricultural development in some regions.
To improve the situation, the following measures can be suggested:
- Enhance the effectiveness and reach of existing social safety net programs, ensuring they target the most vulnerable populations.
- Address income inequality and promote inclusive economic growth.
- Improve agricultural productivity and resilience, particularly in regions with high levels of food insecurity.
- Strengthen public health systems and promote nutrition education to address malnutrition.
- Encourage public-private partnerships to develop innovative solutions for hunger and poverty alleviation.
In conclusion, while India has made progress in addressing hunger and poverty, more targeted and comprehensive efforts are needed to overcome these challenges and achieve good governance.