India, today, is a formidable superpower and a worthy influencer at the global stage. We went from a third world colonial storehouse to the G20 and then the G4, in less than a century. We successfully mechanized our industries, liberalized, privatized, globalized our economy and digitized our world. While we continue to celebrate our economic and political triumphs, we fail to take note of the chinks in our armor.
In a country of more than 1.3 billion people, almost 22% of us are forced to live in despicable conditions, earning less than ₹ 82 per day. For this section of our population, sustenance is a daily struggle, necessities are luxuries and luxuries are simply a farce. They struggle to make ends meet as they are forced to sleep on footpaths, in tatters, on an empty stomach.
The statistics of food wastage are staggering and shocking.
- Today, the world produces 10% more food than is needed to feed everyone. But more than 30% of the food produced around the world never makes it to a plate and gets wasted.
- One-quarter of the worlds undernourished live in India. Around 67 million tonnes of food is wasted in India every year, worth Rs 92,000 crore, which is nearly two-thirds of the amount that the government needs to feed 600 million poor Indians under the National Food Security programme.
- In our country, nearly 40% of the total produce is wasted every year. We waste as much food as is consumed by the United Kingdom.
- To produce the food which ultimately gets wasted, India is estimated to use as much fresh water as is enough to provide drinking water in Egypt for an entire year.
We’re all aware of the dismal state of affairs, yet somehow we fall back to our old ways, by wasting large amounts of food, which can be used to feed those in dire need. Knowingly or unknowingly we take more than we need and end up wasting a large chunk of food. In the literal sense, most of the times, we bite off more than we can chew. However, the vast majority of us seem indifferent towards this food waste. Our apathy stems from the belief that it’s the government, not us, that must provide for those who really need it. We fail to realize that the fight against chronic hunger is as much our fight as it is the governments’.
To bring about a change, we need to sensitise people around us about the grave problem of food wastage in our country. Only then can we all join hands to reduce food wastage by undertaking various measures. This needs cooperation and commitment on the part of all stakeholders, by contributing towards the development of sustainable ways of not only reducing food waste but also collecting and redirecting leftover food to the needy.
Hence, Feeding India encourages one and all to step up and be the change they want to see. This World Food Week, join India’s largest movement to end food waste and hunger. We need your support!