It is a fact, which even Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t deny, that majority of Indians, especially women aged 15-49 years (57 per cent) and children aged 6 months – 5 years(67 per cent),and also men aged15-49 years (25 per cent), don’t even have enough blood in their bodies, which in medical terms are called anaemic, because the data is given by an official survey called the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)5 (2019-21). The condition has been worsening since NFHS 4 (2015-16), under Modi Raj.
Is it the right model of economic growth in the country, which is being celebrated by RSS-BJP clan and the PM Narendra Modi himself boasting of the country becoming the fifth biggest economy of the world, the fastest growing? Can we, the majority, who don’t have even enough blood in our body, ask where PM Modi is channelling all the money, while the majority cannot even afford healthy food?
NITI Aayog, the government think tank, is now working on to proposed rationalization of food and kitchen fuel (LPG) subsidy programme. As we have seen in the last three decades, “rationalization” is only a government euphemism for either increasing the cost or reducing the subsidy. NITI Aayog has said that foodgrains distributed under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 and LPG subsidies put a burden of Rs4 lakh crore on the national exchequer, and there is a need to rationalize them. Does it mean that in case of PM Narendra Modi’s returning to power after 2024 election will bring elimination of subsidy on food and LPG of the common people to increase channelization of the funds thus saved to the people where the maximum funds are going even now? We cannot forget that PM Modi wants to lead the country to make it developed one by 2047, at the cost of the common people’s blood.
Yes, there is no mistake. One can call PM Modi’s model of economic growth and development coming at the “cost of common people’s blood”, because the already wealthy corporates becoming fatter by every day as it passes, while the scarcity of blood in more and more persons has been recorded since 2015-16, as the official NFHS 5 and NFSH 4 data comparison shows. Under the NFSA 2013, up to 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population receive subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). India has one third of the global hunger burden right now, and the latest World Bank atlas shows that 97.3 crore out of 142 crore population of the country are not even able to afford healthy food.
So, from where the enough blood will come without food? The other data is equally shocking that only 20 big corporate companies in India earn 60 per cent of the entire earning of all people in the country, and 70 per cent profit of all profits earned by all enterprises, and among these companies are also PM Modi’s friends. Can we call such accumulation of wealth to be indirectly “blood money” which prevents the majority of Indian people to have enough blood in their body, which is only because they are at receiving end of PM Modi’s policies while the handful of people are enjoying channelization of wealth towards them, which may be either intentionally or due to faulty reasoning of the ruling people.
Then again comes the question of enough blood in majority of the people of the country. NFHS 5 revealed that anaemia had a huge jump between 2015-16 and 2019-21 in almost all sections with the most dramatic increased from 59 per cent to 67 per cent among children aged six months to five years. Among women aged 15-49, NFHS statistics show, the prevalence of anaemia has risen from 53 per cent in 2015-16 to 57 per cent in 2019-21.Even among men aged 15-49, prevalence of anaemia is as high as 25 per cent according to NFHS 5.
There can be many causes of anaemia, and chief among them is unavailability of healthy food, and for all these that government is more responsible than any one which claims that India is economically growing faster than any country in the world. If the claim is correct, why the enough money is not been channelized to the needy to at least maintain necessary blood level in their body to survive in good health?
PM Modi government has tried to wash their “blood stained” hands simply by dropping anaemia from the future NFHS survey itself from July 1, 2023 which had stirred great controversy. Government’s real intention behind this was a suspect, and it was alleged that they did not want people to known how many people don’t have even enough blood in their body which may facilitate the false narrative of economic growth and development of PM Modi and his RSS-BJP clan.
The faults of the PM Modi’s policies of economic development do not end here. Large number of children, due to lack of enough nutrition and food, go become progressively weaker, part of their body damaged, and more emaciated, which we call wasting. Modi’s claim and election narrative of economic growth and development stands contradicted in the fact that about half of all children (49 per cent) with wasting in the world live in India. In 2022, an estimated 45 million children under five were affected by wasting globally. The overall prevalence of wasting in India was 18.7 per cent, a very disturbing malnutrition indicator.
It is chiefly due to unavailability of enough nutritional food, our children have been suffering also from stunting, ie a low height for their age. In 2022, stunting in children under 5 years of age was as high as 31.7 per cent, and thus India’s share of the global burden of stunting stands at unacceptably high at 25 per cent.
In Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022, India ranked 107 out of 121 countries in the world. With a score of 29.1, India has a level of hunger that is serious. It belied PM Modi’s growth narrative. Government of India therefore had labelled the index “an erroneous measure of hunger”. But then how can the government contradict its own data of anaemia, wasting, and stunting? PM Modi’s narrative of growth and development of India conceals this frightening ground reality and hence amount to hoodwinking the electorate. (IPA Service)