Tuesday, 4 October, 2022
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Even stray dogs don’t go hungry in India, ignore hunger reports, minister says in Parliament

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala was responding to an AAP MP, who raised the issue of India’s poor ranking in the 2020 hunger index in Rajya Sabha.

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New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala Friday said in Parliament that India should not pay heed to hunger reports prepared by NGOs because in this country even street dogs are fed “sheera (sweet dish)” after they give birth.

Rupala was responding to Aam Aadmi party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh’s comment in the Rajya Sabha on India’s poor rank in the Global Hunger Index 2020. 

Singh said the minister in his written reply to the matter pointed out that the country’s hunger situation has improved because in 2019 India’s ranking was 102, while in 2020, it has been ranked 94 out of 107 countries.

The AAP MP said despite being in the top 10 food-processing countries in the world, India still ranks poorly in the hunger index. He also pointed out that neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have fared much better. 

Rupala, in response, said the government has already written to NGO Welthungerhilfe, which compiled the report, expressing concerns about their methodology and accuracy of data, and is yet to hear from them.

“Some NGO in the world has done the survey. We have already asked them on what basis have you reached this conclusion? They have not replied yet. But this is a separate matter,” the minister said. 

Rupala then went on to narrate a personal incident and said, “Whenever a street dog gives birth in our village, our women provide them with sheera. Even though at times it bites too, we still give them sheera. So in a country where such tradition exists, and then an NGO comes and gives such a report (regarding hunger index) about our children, we should not be sensitive to such reports,” he said. 

Also read: How Covid worsened hunger in India, the world’s largest food basket

‘No food shortage at all’

Rupala further said that even “hatte-katte (healthy) children are counted in these surveys”.

“As far as these surveys are concerned, even healthy and strong children are also counted. There is a need to create awareness in society and our dynamic minister Smriti Irani ji has started a jan andolan (people’s movement) and under this, 13 crore events have already been done,” he said. 

The minister further said there is no food shortage in the country as the government has around 529.59 lakh tonnes of buffer stock

“We should have ideally kept 214 lakh tonnes, but we have double the stock. So there is no food shortage at all,” he added. 

However, Rupala did agree that due to lack of infrastructure, some perishable food gets wasted. 

He pointed out that to overcome this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a provision of Rs 1 lakh crore under agriculture infrastructure fund for the first time to manage harvest.

(Edited by Debalina Dey)

Also read: India ranks 94 in Global Hunger Index 2020, placed in ‘serious’ category


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  1. Those statements made by the minister implies his lack of knowledge about global hunger index.
    Well the name global hunger index had been a MISNOMER as per the opinion of leaders of many developed and developing nations. It is calculated by measuring the undernutrition in the children below age of 5 years(by calculating their weight, height, tand child mortality). I am a doctor. So i can answer this.
    While coming to some NGOs they take a standard size for all the people worldwide nevertheless from which country the child is from.
    Example: The average height children from Netherlands belgium(jamaica also) is very high as compares to children of any other nation. So they easily get an easy high score in height easily. See jamaica is also higher than india in rankings.
    In india people differ in height, punjabis are tall north east people are short. You can expect the same difference in children also. So punjabis will get a better score for height context.
    Weight is also similar it differs from country to country.(apply the same principle)
    Teesra(third) child mortality rate(below age of 5)- most important and most deciding factor. India had an abnormal custom of marriage among close relatives(consanguinous marriage) and a high rate which lead to more chances of genetic abnormalities. Some of them are diagnosed before birth itself and doctors know that the child will die very soon after birth and suggests MTP. They dont order just suggest. The mothers family members dont allow MTP as they consider children as gift of god. Some doctors say as it is a consanguinous marriage we cannot guarantee next child to be without genetic abnormalities and they dont suggest MTP.
    This is leading to death of child within 6 months or 1 year,etc. Most of the children below 5 years of age are not dying of hunger but because genetic abnormalities caused due to consanguunous marriages,etc.

    And the food below the age of 1 year child is predominantly mothers milk. (Which is dependent on mothers health and MENTAL HEALTH ALSO). Government storing grains is necessarily needed to prevent hunger in india but this not enhancing the hunger index score(lesser the number better is the country). So i think you understood why the name of global hunger index a misnomer.

    • Like the minister, you are an equally inventive fibber.

      ‘Example: The average height children from Netherlands belgium(jamaica also) is very high as compares to children of any other nation. So they easily get an easy high score in height easily. See jamaica is also higher than india in rankings.’

      Then why are Nepal, BD and Sri Lanka higher than India in the ranking ?

  2. The minister is talking nonsense. He should get out of his A/C office and home and move around and he will find millions homeless, without food. There has been days when I had gone hungry because I lost my job in April 2020 and till today I could not find another. Nobody wants to employ a 65 years old although I am a Economics Honors graduate from Mumbai University with a MA from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

  3. I observe that ur news mostly go against the good work done by the present govt under Modi. We suffered 70 years of rampant corruption under GOP ie Congress. So report reality and not be biased.

    • What is the good done by the Modi govt ?

      Cite the good actions. Demonetisation ? GST ? CAA-NRC, farming laws ? What those contribute to reducing hunger ?

  4. He is talking shamelessly. You, your village, your dogs and sheera are not benchmark for India’s food sufficiency. The whole cabinet is full of jokers like this in spite of the fact that we feed them with everything includung sheera with our tax money after electing them with our votes even if they cannot deliver things to us.

  5. Minister is trying to confidently mislead the house, by stating that healthy children are also included in the Survey, as if he is involved with such surveys.

    He also talks irrelevant things like feeding sweets to dogs which deliver by ladies in his place, while discussing about hunger issue in the country.

    It will be an irony if people go hungry, in a country where animals are fed with sweets.

  6. Agreed particular , western NGO issuing Hunger certificate may have done survey during Navaratra नवरात्र festivals when many Hindus are on FAST or in case of women survey might have been done on Karva Choth (कर्वाचोथ ) day when many married Hindu women keep them hungry so that These type NGO may get something to write about.

  7. What the Minister says is basically that the hungry humans in India will be fed like dogs , with scraps thrown on the roads. That shows BJP’s contempt for the poor and under privileged.

  8. We will soon be celebrating 75 years of Independence. It is people who are free or in chains. Not grand buildings, verging on monuments, that are being readied to mark the occasion. Speaking of citizens and stray dogs in the sam3 train of thought is deeply distasteful. 2. One will visit the India Today archive. They usually carry breathless, behind the scenes stories of how the ministerial team was assembled, the final approvals from state and church.

    • Hey, Mr Psuedointellectual, learn the comprehend what is being said. He said, “even stray dogs are kept well fed”. It does not mean that he’s keeping them at par in his response, although I don’t see why that shouldn’t be, dogs are at least loyal and don’t sputter crass on biased news websites.

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