India: Problems of Poverty amidst plenty
“India happens to be a rich country inhabited by very poor people”-Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister For the past few decades, India has been categorized as a developingcountry. In spite of significant landmarks and rapid advancements invarious sectors, India has failed to become a developed country. Whilethe nation has been making headlines for economic boom, multitudes of billionaires, construction of skyscrapers, million dollar investments andachievements in technology; the death rates, malnutrition, illiteracy andpoverty is multiplying manifold. India is a country which has prosperity onone side of the coin and poverty on the other. It is the stark impact of poverty that hinders the growth of the country.Gone are the days when India used to be a famine land and had to relyon the Americas for the supply of PL wheat. With the advent of the Greenrevolution, India, not only eliminated famine but also increased its foodproduction and became self-sufficient in food grains. Operation Flood,initiated by National Dairy Development Board in 1970 introduced aNational Milk Grid that was effective in reducing the poverty and faminelevels. The scheme has also made India the largest producer of milk anddairy products in the world. Agriculture has been the base of India’s economic development with itsexistence in India dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Today,India is one of the major agricultural economies in the world, in terms of area of cultivation, total produce, bio- diversity, saturation and surplus infood grains, FCI godowns and buffer stock. Statistically, in terms of thefarm output, India is ranked second in the world. The important role thatagriculture plays in India’s economy can be realized from the fact that itcontributed to 16.6% of the country’s GDP in 2007 and provides jobs to52% of the working population. India’s agriculturally strong in the worldmarket being the largest producer of fresh fruits, second in the productionof fresh vegetables and third in terms of poultry products.But in spite of this abundant agricultural wealth, scores of people die dueto malnutrition and food scarcity. Statistics show us that a staggering 42.5% of children are suffering from malnutrition in India. World Bank hasreported that India comes second in child malnutrition and is home to thelargest number of underweight children in the world.Thousands of people die everyday due to lack of food and proper hygiene. India faces two nutrition problems- Under nutrition and over nutrition. People in Punjab and Kerala suffer from over nutrition where thepeople consume more than sufficient food whereas the people in UP,West Bengal and Chattisgarh struggle to survive.