Being Hung or Being Hungry: Which is More Painful? MOGRA program by ILIGHT GL0BAL helps nutritional needs in children with home cooked meals in India.

Being Hung or Being Hungry: Which is More Painful?  MOGRA program by ILIGHT GL0BAL helps nutritional needs in children with home cooked meals in India.

By- Aadrika Baranwal

HUNGER: A COMPLEX ISSUE

Human rights activists always spoke against hanging people to death but hardly spoke about hungry people. Around 8.9% of the world's population, i.e. 663 million (Food and agriculture organization, UN) people, are undernourished, which implies that their minimum caloric intake is lower than the needed amount.

The initiative of MOGRA (Meals of Gratitude) program by I LIGHT GLOBAL is a much needed one, and their approach is strategic

Let me take you down memory lane and remind you of a day when you were extremely hungry, and you had no resources to feed yourself. You panicked, you rushed to the kitchen to cook something, but were probably too lazy and then you decided to resort to some processed food. But wait, did it really satisfy your hunger? No, right?

You were back to square one of being drowned with the salivating hungry state of your mind. Now just imagine that someone is persistently living in that state, their every piece of grain is at the mercy of luck, or should I say, at the mercy of us, the wealthy community which eats what they like and discard what they don't.

It's a stark difference you see, while one group of people are posing on Instagram as foodies and hashtagging all their meals, there are millions of people who are just praying they get a handful of rice.

The complications of this hunger problem are numerous and not just at the individual's level, but at a national and global level too. How so? you may ask.

Well, let's unbox the issue and the consequences associated with it. With a greater youth population starving, countries are losing both their manual and intellectual human resources, which are the very potential for development. The life of these people is a struggle, and the future of that nation becomes terribly difficult. You have people who could have been the hands and feet of development but all you have is poverty and disease-ridden communities for which the nation must increase the health expenditure.

With a greater youth population starving, countries are losing both their manual and intellectual human resourcesUnsplash

WORLD HUNGER INDEX – INDIA RANKS 101 IN 2021

The World Hunger Index combines three indicators: undernourishment, child underweight, and child mortality. According to the Global Hunger Index in 2021, which was adopted by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Somalia was the most affected country by hunger and malnutrition. So, you see, in a state of survival, innovation doesn't grow. Food is a necessity, not just to stay alive but to thrive too. Consider the example of the countries mentioned above. Furthermore, an undernourished population is a burden for the healthcare system of the country. Such people are more susceptible to infections and diseases and so it adds to healthcare costs. Being financially underprivileged, they cannot afford healthcare, this contributes to increased mortality and morbidity. This segment of population is vulnerable to external factors, they can be easily lured with some money and food to do criminal or provocative activities that have potential to disturb the peace of nation. Havoc has been created before and can be created in the future too. We are not unaware of huge protests and rallies where people were provoked into rebelling against causes that didn't even exist!!! One cannot solely concentrate on an empty stomach because without education there is no empowerment. And of course, there is no thought of having good mental health in a state of constant struggle for survival, fear, and anxiety. These underprivileged kids are prone to take up illegal activities. The underdeveloped countries have shown staggering statistics in literacy rate, mental health, and physical health. Also, the number of juvenile criminal cases, theft and murder are greater in these countries.

MOGRA PROGRAM – OFFERING SOLUTIONS AGAINST HUNGER

Managing hunger is necessary because the relationship between crime and hunger is that of a mother and child. You nurture one and the other would become gigantic. Its high time we recognize how interlocked and complex this phenomenon is. Just addressing the initial few problems can bring down lots of uncertainty and challenges. The initiative of MOGRA (Meals of Gratitude) program by I LIGHT GLOBAL is a much needed one, and their approach is strategic. They are not just taking care of the starving ones but are empowering them with the knowledge and skills they need. This initiative of I LIGHT GLOBAL is truly a remarkable one and is becoming an inspiration for many. The volunteers of I LIGHT GLOBAL visit underprivileged areas and provide kids with home cooked meals, free education and equip them with self-regulatory skills by teaching them mind management and leadership skills.

While International charities like I LIGHT GLOBAL are working elaborately in the key issues area, you can contribute too. Next time you visit a restaurant and waste food or throw away unfinished meals, do take a moment to think what are you wasting, just few grains or lives?

Aadrika is pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) at Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal. She is a volunteer at iLIGHT – a charity doing work in hunger alleviation and public health.

( Keywords: Hunger, Mogra, Malnutrition, Food, Program, Charity)

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