In times of khichdi politics, learn how to live without eating expensive vegetables
Guwahati, Nov 7: Last week, when India was debating whether the humble khichdi should be made the national dish or not, poor were struggling to earn at least a square meal for themselves and their family members.
Poverty accompanied by soaring prices of food items and vegetables have forced thousands of Indians to sleep on an empty stomach.
The above statement is not an exaggeration but reality as in recent times India saw a couple of starvation deaths, including the sad demise of an 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand who according to her mother died as there was no rice to feed the minor.
Recently, India has been placed in the 100th place among 119 countries across the world as per the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report. The statement by the International Food Policy Research Institute, which produced the report, said, "India is ranked 100th out of 119 countries, and has the third-highest score in all of Asia--only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse."
Amid all these sad figures, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 'World Food India Festival 2017' in New Delhi on Friday, the irony could not be missed as millions in India live in hunger and desperation.
When so many have no access to food, the very idea of a world food festival in the country looks like a farce. And, when the PM proudly said that "food processing is a way of life in India" it sounded nothing but an insult to the poor--those who are waiting for food in their plates and those who cultivate food, the farmers, but are too neglected by the state that they are being forced to commit suicide.
However, there is a silver lining in the whole situation. Those who are eternal optimistic won't give up. So, when soaring vegetable prices caused panic across Guwahati in Assam, students of the state's premier educational institute, Gauhati University (GU), came up with a unique idea.
The hostel boarders of the GU decided to have their meals without any vegetables. Simple, isn't? When you can't afford certain things, what do you do generally, simply give up. Or, rob someone else?
The second idea is not very prevalent in the country, or else our rich and famous won't have been able to sleep a wink.
According to The Telegraph hike in prices of vegetables has forced the university boarders to make do with only pulses (dal) and potatoes.
The report stated that prices of vegetables in the city have skyrocketed with cauliflower being sold at Rs 140 per kg, cabbage at Rs 100, carrot at Rs 120, tomato, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, lady's finger and brinjal at Rs 80 per kg.
Thus the boarders in the GU hostels are eating only dal and fried potatoes with rice during lunch and dinner since the last 25 days.
We will say the students of the university are lucky; at least they get to eat food. Many don't even have that luxury in the country which is still waiting for acche din.