Bengaluru, Dec 16: Sounds wierd? The root of this flying imagination was an incident that could otherwise be considered a routine in India. A friend left a glass of milk on the table, unattended and exposed, after we had a heated discussion. The idea that crossed my mind instantly was how many in the country would have killed each other for that one glass of white liquid, just to avoid hunger? How many children go without even the basic nutrition necessity, leave alone milk?
A 'Zero' figure
According UNICEF India, One in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India. Around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. Many of these children are severely malnourished.
Consider this too, in India, around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. This also leads to long-term consequences, leading to death. Malnutrition in early childhood has serious, long-term consequences because it impedes motor, sensory, cognitive, social and emotional development.
Next question? How would these children reacted getting that glass of milk?
It is all about excuses
Awareness is necessary, but for Indians who know it all, support it, back it and also practice 'not wasting food' cpnsciously fail to identify their unconscious will to leave food on their plates. Strangely, they are not repentant too, calling themselves the "lucky" class to be able to afford to waste food.
Why blame India, it is a global phenomena. A tiff with a spouse, a bad day at office always triggers the 'waste food' button. While these are just a few wxcuses, there would be others too. One of my friend's had earned a free-lunch for four at the Taj hotel. One of my very close friends took food in the plate, ate a little and left the rest.
On asking why he did that, he said "I just wanted to taste". There have been instances, when that very friend wasted food because the waiter forgot to wipe the plate and there was some water on it.
Is hunger replaced by anger?
Incidentally, today is Nirbhaya's death anniversary and Vijay Diwas too. While the country moaned the deaths in both the cases, the one thing that hit me hard is 'Why this?' in the first place? Couldn't there have been a better ending and a heart-warming story to tell, instead of the ghory descriptions of a corroding human psyche? What if there was a Human's Day (celebrating the creative power of human beings and the way they utilise it for general good), instead of a Woman's Day? or for that matter an International Friendship Day (celebrating love and peace between nations), instead of a Kargil Diwas?
What if the money that is being spent on war be spent on feeding the poor and the malnourished? Or does it have to do something with our economies and the growing need to look for 'recreation' when we have the basic requirement met?
Consider the Nirbhaya rapists. Daily wage labourers, on a jolly ride on a Friday evening looking for some form of entertainment with a drink. All of them drunk to the core, including the juvenile, got their prey easily. Tummies filled, they went ahead with their willingness to satiate their sexual drive, which turned out to be horrendous.
Also, consider the warring territories. Economically stable, they are worried about territories and power now. In a fight for land, they have forgotten the very basic requirement of their countries-Hunger. Be it Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan or India, the countries may be nuclear-laced, but they fail to drive out the biggest enemy in their territory-Hunger.
A vicious cycle
It is strange how we understand the plight of the hungry and yet fail to sympathize with their requirements. However, on second thoughts, it is not difficult to see how anger and hunger are inter-linked. One is hungry and therefore he kills and the other is killed because he is hungry.
The cycle will continue without a pause or a stop unless we see hunger in a different way. Ironiically, if anger could really fill up tummies, there was no dearth of it in the world.
As for me, I left the glass exposed for a jarring reminder!