Bharat's lockdown diet is boiled rice, salt -Sayantan Bera
* A ground report reveals pervasive hunger and undernourishment in rural India awash with returning migrants
* Just providing rice and wheat at a highly subsidized price may not be enough when day jobs are scant and families have no cash in hand
BANDA: Thanks to an all-familiar power cut in the evening, it’s pitch dark in Jhandupurva village. A few torch lights from smart phones pierce through the darkness and illuminate the shape of an eight-year-old boy. Thin, frail, head tilted a little to the side, he can barely speak when asked his name. Sandip is so weak that he stutters and pauses between words.
The boy has already finished dinner, his mother Vidya said. Boiled rice with milk: about half a litre of milk for the six-member family, including four children. A rice gruel with more water than milk, and salt added to taste. No wonder Sandip is suffering from what nutritionists term “wasting"—a sign of acute malnutrition and chronic hunger.
This landless family dependent on day jobs is covered under the federal food security scheme and normally gets 20kg of rice and wheat every month. As a special assistance to help families tide over loss of economic opportunities during the lockdown—enforced to contain the spread of covid-19—the family is also getting an extra 20kg of grains free for three months.
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Livemint.com, 29 May, 2020, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/bharat-s-lockdown-diet-is-boiled-rice-salt-11590675325812.html