Rajya Sabha MP and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Amar Patnaik on Wednesday said the Global Hunger Index 2019 (GHI) report, released on Tuesday, was a tragedy for India.
Out of 117 countries, India has ranked 102 in the Global Hunger Index 2019 (GHI) report that tracks hunger and malnutrition level in countries.
In 2018, India was ranked 95, however, this time it fell behind its neighbours – Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Amar Patnaik said that where India as a country is facing such a situation, Odisha, on its part, has experienced a reduction in poverty rate by 25 per cent over the last 20 years. Around 80 lakh people have come out of poverty, he said.
Amar Patnaik said that whether it is the nutrition factor for children, maternal mortality rate or infant mortality rate, “everywhere we have come down to a national average or are doing even better than that.”
“Our policies for poor and people in general have helped us in beating a particular trend and heading towards a hunger-free state,” Patnaik said.
Since other parts of India are not doing well, the country as a whole is lagging behind in the hunger and nutrition index Patnaik said, claiming that in such a situation, Odisha has fought poverty to a large extent.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting, the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting, children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition; and child mortality, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index that tracks hunger and malnutrition said on Wednesday.
(With inputs from PTI)