Right to Food

Right to Food

Share this article Share this article


According to the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India (2009), which has been prepared by the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the World Food Programme (WFP),



  • On the composite index of food insecurity of rural India, states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are found in the ‘very high’ level of food insecurity, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat. The indicators used for computing the index of food insecurity in rural India are: a) Percentage of population consuming less than 1,890 Kcal /cu/diem; b) Percentage of households not having access to safe drinking water; c) Percentage of households not having access to toilets within the premises; d) Percentage of ever-married women age 15 – 49 years who are anaemic; e) Percentage of women (15 – 49 yrs) with CED; f) Percentage of children in the age group 6 – 35 months who are anaemic; and, g) Percentage of children in the age group 6 – 35 months who are stunted


  • The better performers include Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, all of which report an Index value below 0.5


  • The proportion of population consuming less than 1890 kcal/cu/diem has in fact increased in the states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan and marginally for Punjab.


  • Almost 2/3rd of rural households in Jharkhand did not have access to safe drinking water in 2001.


  • More than 90 percent of rural households in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh did not have access to toilets within their premises.


  • As many as eight states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – have shown increase in the incidence of anaemia among women in the reproductive age group. The highest increase in anaemia levels has been observed in Andhra Pradesh (51 to 64 percent), followed by Haryana (48 to 57 percent) and Kerala (23 to 32 percent).


  • The proportion of women with CED has drastically increased for Assam (28 to 40 percent) followed by Bihar (40 to 46 percent), Madhya Pradesh (42 to 45 percent) and Haryana (31 to 33 percent).


  • 12 out of 20 states under consideration have figures higher than 80 percent for proportion of rural anaemic children. Bihar, that already had a high figure of 81 percent, has further increased to 89 percent.


  • The proportion of rural stunted children in Karnataka has increased from 39 to 43 percent


  • While famines and starvation deaths remain the popular representation of the contemporary problem of hunger, one of the most significant yet understated and perhaps less visible area of concern today is that of chronic or persistent food and nutrition insecurity. This is a situation where people regularly subsist on a very minimal diet that has poor nutrient and calorific content as compared to medically prescribed norms.


  • The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) has led to exclusion of large number of needy poor. The Report recommends a return to the ‘universal PDS’ that existed till 1997. The Report also recommends universalization and effective implementation of ICDS and MDMS and employment generation programmes, like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Greater involvement of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) in food delivery at the grassroot level and integration of food and nutrition security objectives in ongoing Government initiatives like the National Food Security Mission and National Horticulture Mission are crucial.

Rural Expert

Write Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Video Archives


share on Facebook
Read Later

Contact Form

Please enter security code