Global Hunger Index 2016 Says India is at ‘Serious’ Level

The hunger problem has spread its roots so widely and deeply all around the world that eradication of hunger seems a distant dream without the coherence and cooperation of each one of us. We’ve earned enough of luxury for ourselves but we also need to realize that there’s no better expenditure of money than making a donation to feed the hungry. According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index Report, roughly one in four children is affected by stunting and 8 per cent of children are affected by wasting.

We witness many of them daily and the sight really breaks our heart. But we somehow manage to move on. If everybody starts working towards change, imagine the results? We need to make a paradigm shift and to perfectly exemplify this. Akshaya Patra, an NGO registered under Section 80G of Income Tax Act, has been doing outstanding work since 16 years. If you look at the history of mid-day meal scheme in India, you will notice two important positive results: increase in school enrolment rate and decrease drop-out rates. But there’s still so much to do.

The scourge of global hunger

Hunger is comprehensively measured and tracked at the global, regional, and country levels by a tool called the Global Hunger Index. According to the 2016 GHI Report, ‘Regionally, the highest GHI scores, and therefore the highest hunger levels, are still found in Africa, south of the Sahara and South Asia. As a matter of fact, India, a South Asian country, is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. And if our ignorance towards this problem is persistent, we’ll ultimately end up with distressingly high level of hunger around the globe. Now, this is where Akshaya Patra lets and urges us to help those in dire need of our sponsorship with an additional benefit of tax exemption in India. We need to realize our responsibilities towards society and raise funds for children charity.

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The two most critical sustainable goals

By pledging to eradicate undernourishment and provide unlimited food for education, Akshaya Patra targets the two most critical UN sustainable goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education. The history of mid-day meal tells you that Akshaya Patra has presented a chance to fulfill dreams for those 1.7 million children who are deprived of education because of hunger. The splendid outcomes have made Akshaya Patra well-recognised across the world. With the perpetual expansion of such selfless programmes and philanthropic donors raising children charity open-handedly, the decrement in undernourishment and increment in literacy level is assured.

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A strong stand against all other national challenges

Various inhibitions to development like gender inequality, poverty, crimes, violence etc. are inextricably linked with education. Nelson Mandela realised this long back. He described education as a weapon to change the world and a great way to foster peace in societies. Unfortunately, many children are deprived of education because of financial incapability and social backwardness.

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Let’s embrace the humanitarian core and do some charity donations today, not as a gesture of tokenism but as an ardent yearning to defeat hunger. Make a donation in honour of someone today.

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Resolving Global Issues Surrounding Children

Millions of children across the world are denied the opportunity to enjoy childhood and are still in search of basic necessities like food, education, shelter and safety.  Child trafficking, child marriage, poverty, malnutrition and child labour are some of the main global Issues surrounding children.

Child trafficking

Image Courtesy: cseindiaportal

Child trafficking affects millions of children across the world. Children are bought and sold for various activities including forced labour.  According to a 2012 report released by the International Labour Organization, 21 million people are trapped in forced labour across the world.  Of the total, 5.5 million are below 18 years.  Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia (COSA), Children of the Night, Called to Rescue, Love 146 and Maiti Nepal are some of the charities working to end child trafficking and exploitation across the world.

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Image Courtesy: newzimbabwe.com

Similarly, more than 700 million women marry before turning 18 and about 250 million get into wedlock before age 15, according to a data released by the UNICEF in 2014. Though efforts to end child marriage have been going, the custom is still prevalent in several parts of India. The after effects include early pregnancy, school dropout, violence, abuse and exposure to HIV and AIDS.  Some of the charitable organisations trying hard to free young children from the clutches of early marriage include Girls Not Brides, Care and Breakthrough.

Poverty is another issue we need to take care of. About 1 billion in the world live in poverty, according to UNICEF.  Poor nutrition claims 3.1 million young lives every year. In developing countries, about 100 million children are underweight and 66 million primary school children go hungry to school. Poor nutrition can damage the immune system and increase a child’s risk of contracting deadly diseases. It can also affect learning ability, cognitive and physical development of children.

Feed the hungry children

Image Courtesy: brighterbrains.org

Some of the organisations fighting hunger and poverty include Action against Hunger, the U.N. World Food Programme and Bread for the World Institute. In India, apart from the government, charitable organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Annamrita, No Hungry Child, Annapoorna of Adamya Chetana distribute mid-day meals in schools. Initiative taken by these charitable organisations has helped fight hunger and improve nutritional status of underprivileged children in India.

It’s also shocking to know that about 100 million children are homeless and live on streets.  The reasons differ from war or poverty to harmful diseases. Some of the children are orphans, while some live in streets to support their families. Street children, according to UNICEF, are the most difficult to protect and provide education and care.  They face risks from various sources including the police and are sometimes murdered as part of the cleaning up of the city. Charitable organisations like Youth Advocate Program International (YAP International), Consortium for Street Children (CSC), Dreamz (Mumbai), Support (Mumbai) and Railway Children have helped improve the situation and given new meanings to the lives of street children across the world.

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Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra

In addition to this, millions of children today are trapped in child labour. Children are often forced to work in several dangerous environments.  A data from UNICEF shows that about 150 million children are engaged in child labour including mining, quarrying, domestic service or agriculture.

However, the number of children who work in India has come down over the past few years.  In 2011, only 43.53 lakh children aged between five and 14 were working compared to 1.26 crore in 2001, thanks to the work of organisations like International Labour Organization, The Child Labor Coalition and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).  Apart from them, the list of charities for children also includes UNICEF, United Nations and Save the Children.

There is no doubt that these issues have made children’s lives miserable and hard. But, the situation has definitely improved than earlier, thanks to the thousands of charitable organisations across the world that have engaged in charities for children.

If the good work of charitable organisations continues at this pace, we can soon completely free our children from these issues and return their rights.