HUNGER-HIT: The Other Ugly Face of Humanhood!

 

BY Prof. (Dr.) SUDHIR GAVHANE

Towering high-rise buildings, glittering malls, shining shops, shopping-savvy higher middle class, multi-line roads with bright huge flyovers, Western-designed airports flooded with affluent creamy class! This is what is the nature of our present world of progress & prosperity.

The world in which we live prima-facie looks like this. We call it as the post-modern, technology-driven and 'full-of-fashion, ultra-mod' globalised world. Dear readers, is this a true image or is it a manipulated brand image? Some of the thinkers of the contemporary world say that our world is flat. If one looks into the innards of this world, we find that this very world is not at all flat. It is divided. There is economic divide, educational divide, cultural divide, digital divide, knowledge divide, opportunity divide, power divide, livelihood divide. 

If we see our world with a 'critical eye', we come across the naked reality of our world. I call it as the other ugly face of our Humanhood. I will try to bring to your notice the ugly face of hunger-hit humanity of present world. Let us try to understand the ground reality of this ugly other face! I feel it's an eye-opener, for all of us white-collared consumers, proclaiming ourselves as the so-called common man! 

Let me put before you hard-hitting and truth-telling 10 naked facts of our contemporary world, which are sufficient enough to expose and express the ugly face of present so-called prosperous & shining world. We see around us power-hungry people, money-hungry people, status-hungry people; but in this very world of ours, there are millions and millions of people who are hungry for food. 

The ten naked truths of our world are as follows:

Hunger–hit Humanhood 
1. The world population at present is 6.9 billions, out of this human population as many as 925 million people do not have enough to eat. This hunger–hit population is more than combined populations of USA, Canada and the European Union. Is this a negligible number or population? Is their hunger justified in the present-day 21st century? Is it not a situation about which we all should feel ashamed of?

2. The hungry 'Other World' lives in developing and, what is recently described as, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The LDCs make up for more than 50 countries. You will be shocked to know that, 98 per cent of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries.

Hunger Hubs
3. The another most striking and serious situation of the world today is that, two-thirds of the world’s hungry live in seven countries, namely Bangladesh, China, India, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Pakistan. And as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, over 40 percent of these live in China and India alone. Thus, our South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa are in true sense the 'Hunger Hubs'.

4. The areas of the world where 'hunger' is the worst. These are hunger-hit regions of our world:
Asia and the Pacific : 578 million
Sub-Saharan Africa : 239 million 
Latin America and the Caribbean : 53 million
Near East and North Africa : 37 million

5. It is heartening to  know 60 per cent of the world’s 'hungry' population are women. There is gender discrimination in hunger too.

6. 50 per cent of pregnant women in developing countries do not get required maternal care to which they are entitled, resulting in over 300,000 maternal deaths annually during childbirth. This is the cost of health less the situation of poor class of society. 

7. 1 out of every 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries, facing 'inequality before birth'.

8. Malnutrition is the key factor contributing to more than one-third of all global child deaths resulting in 2.6 million deaths every year. Are we not responsible for such devastation of our future generations?

9.  A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.

10.  Every five seconds, a child dies of starvation-led diseases.

These ten eye–opening naked truths about the hunger-hit world are enough to expose and express the ‘other ugly face’ of our contemporary world. Are we really sensible enough to understand and tackle the basic human need of hunger? If not, what is the use of our so-called shining achievements in Science and Technology & in the glittering global world? 

Let us accept that the journey from 'human being’ to 'being human' is difficult for all of us. The real challenge of humanity is to protect this hunger-hit millions of children, women & the general poor from hunger-generated problems. Is the political and creamy class of our world ready to face this challenge which is man-made? A strong will and determination is all we need to put an end to it.

(Professor (Dr.) Sudhir Gavhane is a media expert and a socio-political & economic critic. A former Vice-Chancellor, he is presently working as Professor & Head of Dept. (Journalism) at the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, Maharashtra)

 

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