There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on Non- Food essential items squeezing their food budget. Elucidate

Poverty and Hunger are the twin challenges for India in meeting the targets set under the sustainable development goals. India which is a welfare state is mandated under the directive principles of the state policy to provide for the well being of citizens to tackle these twin challenges. But the decline in social expenditure is adversely affecting the well being of Indians.

Increased Spending on Non- Food essential Items

Health Expenditure

Poor are often haunted with 3As (Accessibility, Affordability and Availability) when it comes to health care. Often the high out of pocket expenditure to meet even the primary health care needs puts a financial burden on the well being of the family forcing them to compromise their expenditure on the food budget.

Quality Education

The lure of private schooling coupled with lack of poor infrastructure on government schools is resulting in increased expenditure on education. In the absence of the commensurate increase in the earnings, the people are forced to cut down on their food budget.

Basic Amenities

Lack of basic amenities like drinking water, public transport is also resulting in additional burden on the people. They are forced to shell out extra money to access these basic amenities which is adversely affecting the food budget.

Hunger and Malnutrition

India may have addressed the challenge of food security through the green revolution but it is far from addressing the need for nutritional security. The squeezed food budget due to increased spending on non-food essentials is adversely impacting the nutritional security. The government must prescribe for a target-based approach to increase the social expenditure to transform the human resource into human capital.

Published: October 4, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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