Friday, Aug 12, 2022

What Ignites Hatred In The Belly?

The new welfarism as part of the neoliberal reforms undertaken in early 1990s is yet to ensure that all citizens receive enough nutritious food

Bleak future? Seven-month-old Rohini suffers from Grade 4 malnutrition Photograph: Getty Images

In December last year, Anjali—a student of MNM Government Girls School at Gangavati in Karnataka’s Koppal district—vented out her anger against deprivation of basic nutritious food, a chronic problem that plagues more than a quarter of India’s total population. In a viral rant, she called the bluff on local religious leaders who wanted immediate withdrawal of eggs from the Mid-Day Meal Scheme—retitled as Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) recently. Under this scheme, one hot cooked meal is provided to students in government and government-aided schools on a working day. “If the government stops it, we will stage protests since it is our right to eat what we want,” she had thundered amid a group of girls from her school, who were also agitated against only the pure vegetarian diet diktat.

ALSO READ: That Bitter Taste: When Food Becomes A Political Weapon