Hunger: The true growth story in India

By ANIRUDDHA BONNERJEE and GABRIELE KÖHLER

India’s march towards the global economic stage is strikingly visible in many forms. Sparkling office buildings and shopping malls are being foisted with alacrity in nearly every city as corporate India gallops ahead to become the ‘office of the world’ and middle and upper class consumers are boosting turnover and profits with high-end expenditures. Per capita incomes have risen in nominal terms from US$400 in 2000 to over US$1000 in 2009 – an impressive increase by any standard. By 2015, they are expected to be over US$1600 (IMF, WEO April 2010) – quadrupling in 15 years. Evidently, there has been significant progress in many areas.


However, India’s rambunctious success, often against difficult odds, belies the fact that socio-economic security remains an enormous challenge for an overwhelming majority of Indian households who struggle with less than $2 per day (76%, World Bank 2009). Hunger, nutrition insecurity and chronic as well as acute malnutrition are the most severe of their daily experiences. Internationally, according to the 2010 Global Hunger Index constructed by IFPRI, India dangles at an ignominious 67th out of 84 countries and is classified as having ‘alarming’ levels of hunger. It could therefore be said that the real growth story in India is about the silent growth of socio-economic insecurity, hunger and socio-economic disparities – the sordid underbelly of ‘mother India’…

... a new WDEV Special Report (1/2011) points out. The Report is reserved for subscribers with username and password. To read it please log in >>> here or pick your subscription >>> here.

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Contents of this WDEV Special Report:

The persistence of multidimensional hunger
Food prices
Outcomes and policy reflections
Measures/interventions towards immediate, household level food security
Measures/interventions towards increased productivity and higher yields
Structural rights-based universal food security in India
Regional and global measures for food and nutrition security
In closing

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