From Hungry Kya? To Hunger Kya? Revisiting Hunger in South Asia
Nigam S (2015) Revisiting Hunger in South Asia, South Asia Journal, Issue 12
12 Pages Posted: 12 May 2015 Last revised: 4 Feb 2019
Date Written: May 11, 2015
Hungry Kya? (Are you Hungry?) This wide spread pseudo language phrase has been floating around in electronic, print and digital media besides being projected on bill boards across South Asia. The advertiser while using this phrase along with the image of a slice of a pizza invites the attention of a section of population to the culture of consumption. However, this symbol of modernity strongly contradicts with the images from the other part of the continent which is starving and dying of hunger.
Recently, I came across the Report on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2014 which scrutinized the state of hunger in 120 countries. On the basis of multidimensional statistical analysis, it claims that 55 of these countries are in abysmal conditions with respect to hunger. The report estimates that 805 millions are suffering from chronic hunger while 2 billion people are afflicted with hidden hunger, that is, the deficiency of micronutrients, all over the world. According to this report, the continents of Africa and South Asia have the highest level of hunger. The GHI ranks India at 55th position, Bangladesh and Pakistan at 57th position, Nepal at 44th and Sri Lanka at 39th position.
In this context when I see this tagline Hungry Kya?, I feel the urge of reframing it to Hunger Kya Hai? (What is hunger from the perspective of a hungry person?) Hungry kaun? (Who are Hungry?) Hungry Kyun aur Kaise? (Why and how hunger persists in South Asia in spite of accelerating economic growth?) In this article, I attempt to look at the microcosmic reality and macrocosmic facts relating to hunger in South Asia.
Keywords: Hunger, Hungry, South Asia, India, Citizens, State, starvation, survival, women, child, poverty, Food, Bhook, Food Security, Hunger free world
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