Resource centre on India's rural distress

The Lockdown Revealed the Extent of Poverty and Misery Faced by Migrant Workers -Arabinda K. Padhee, Basanta K. Kar and Pranab R Choudhury

This lockdown hunger is not the only worry. Post-COVID, access to safe and nutritious foods would be uncertain if adequate policy measures are not taken.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further worsened India’s hunger and malnutrition woes, more so for the millions of informal workers, on their way back home or struggling to meet two ends in their urban and rural homes. Their embedded informality over labour, land and housing tenure has uprooted and shaken them with loss of income, occupation and habitat, multiplying their already entrenched nutrition vulnerability.

Given the already acknowledged multidimensionality of the nutritional problem and its significant connection to immunity, further oversight or negligence, implicates a heavy toll on these de-facto nation builders, either through COVID-19 infestation, poised now for community spread or en-route the lockdown hunger and its chronic accompaniment, the hidden hunger, often used to denote micronutrient malnutrition.

India ranks low at 102 in the 2019 Global Hunger Index, below its neighbours, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with documented poorer malnutrition level among the rural poor, agriculture labourers and migrant workers, pregnant and lactating mothers and children.

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