A Kerala model to solve hunger

If poverty is a grim reality in India, hunger is an everyday torment for millions.

Published: 09th February 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2018 02:34 AM   |  A+A-

If poverty is a grim reality in India, hunger is an everyday torment for millions. The reality is stark as India is ranked a lowly 100 among 119 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), behind even Bangladesh and Nepal. Over 23 crore Indians go to bed on an empty stomach daily. Kerala, which boasts of human development indices that match the developed world, too, is not immune to this grim reality as 7.1 per cent of the state’s population live below the poverty line.

The state has taken the first step to correct this anomaly. The state budget allocated Rs 70 lakh for the roll-out of ‘Hunger-free Kerala’ in 2017-18, and Rs 20 crore in 2018-19, with pilot projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha municipalities.

Micro-level initiatives are already underway, with a few NGOs under the ruling CPM banner taking the lead in Alappuzha. ‘Hunger-free Mararikulam’, a project by the P Krishna Pillai Memorial Pain and Palliative Care Society, an apex body of 11 NGOs working in and around the Kanjikuzhi panchayat in Alappuzha, are providing free food in Mararikulam and four other panchayats. Swanthanam, another palliative care society located in Cherthala, also in Alappuzha, provides food to 300 people in the Cherthala municipality, and another five panchayats in the district.

True, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have all been inspired by Tamil Nadu’s celebrated ‘Amma’ canteens. But what makes the Kerala model different is the active participation of the public, along with many NGOs. The LDF government, that has launched a slew of successful initiatives along the lines of the celebrated Kudumbashree project, has its task cut out with Hunger-free Kerala.

It may not make a significant change to India’s lowly perch on the Hunger Index if Kerala manages to feed those few thousand still going hungry and thus claim the hunger-free status. What it will do is show a few other states the way forward, and instil the belief that hunger can be satiated, if one takes it on at the micro-level.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp