26 August 2013

Will India defeat malnutrition?

India has a lot of a lot of things, including hungry people. It has the world's second largest population and the world's second highest percentage of malnourished children.

It also has the world's largest food distribution system. Unfortunately the system has been largely ineffective, riddled as it is with incompetence and corruption. Now the ruling Congress Party has passed the Food Security Bill, a massive $22-billion program that will entitle 67 per cent of Indians to highly subsidized food. The Bill has yet to pass India's upper house but that is not expected to be a problem.

"The big message which will go out to the country and rest of the world," stated Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi," is clear and concrete: that India is taking the responsibility of providing food security to all its citizens." Let us hope the Food Security Bill does just that.

As India's burgeoning economy brings it into the modern world, many in its multitude of poor are being left behind. This measure could help ensure that their boats, too, rise with the rising economic tide. Or at least that their children don't go hungry.

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