IDS Bulletin Vol. 43 Nos.

Hunger and Malnutrition in India

Published on 1 July 2012

Despite excellent economic growth in the last two decades India continues to suffer from ‘alarming’ hunger, and acute malnutrition amongst children under five. The recently introduced National Food Security Bill tries to address some of these concerns, but its success would depend on several non?legal factors, such as whether we are able to increase food production in backward regions, ban exports and thus increase availability, and identify the real poor correctly with some help from the biometrics?based unique identity (UID) programme. The Government of India also has to improve the design and oversight of central welfare programmes such as the Public Distribution System (PDS), which seeks to distribute subsidised foodgrains to the poor, and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) meant for children under five. However, food alone does not solve the problem of underweight children, which needs a multidimensional thrust in health, hygiene, water quality, and above all a change in cultural practices related to child?rearing.

Cite this publication

Saxena, N.C. (2012) Hunger and Malnutrition in India. IDS Bulletin 43: 8-14