As the Naveen Patnaik Government basks in the glory of Rs 1-a-kg rice scheme with the Congress grudgingly accusing it of ‘hijacking’ a Central scheme, a latest survey might be difficult for the BJD to digest.
While India as a whole is feeding its poor much better than it was a decade ago, the scenario is not that rosy in some States such as Odisha and West Bengal. According to the findings of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), more rural households in the two States are not getting enough food throughout the year than any other State.
The two months __ January and February __ are harsher for West Bengal and Odisha in terms of food inadequacy. February and March for Assam, and March for Chhattisgarh proved to be much tougher when people found it difficult to manage two meals.
These findings are part of household consumer expenditure survey conducted by the NSSO. The report __ ‘Perceived adequacy of food consumption in Indian households’ __ was released on Wednesday.
As the survey is based on the perception of the households interviewed, the nutrient and calorific content, and what constitutes two meals were not taken into account. So, a person may be consuming two meals a day, but it may fall short of the stipulated standards of a healthy diet.
Among the States, in rural India, the percentage of households not perceiving themselves as getting adequate food throughout the year was 2.1 or less in all major States except West Bengal (4.6 pc) and Odisha (4 pc). In these two States, about 3.8-3.9 pc rural households reported that they did not get adequate food everyday during some months. As the Naveen Government keeps talking about its promise of hunger-free India, the survey might puncture the bubble.