Starvation is the most consuming pain; it pushes all other pain aside, takes the reigns, and completely dictates the life it has overtaken. For far too many children of India, the pain of hunger is in control.
Often, we tell ourselves the good-hearted prevail, in an effort to maintain both our sanity and our desired perception of reality. Yet 1 in every 5 Indian children – each one innocent in the way all children are- is faced with the unthinkable horror of chronic hunger. It simply doesn’t have to be this way.
The first step toward solving a problem, even one as ambitious as widespread child hunger, is to educate one’s self on the issue. To address child hunger in India, we must first face the facts:
- An average of 3,000 Indian children die of hunger each day.
With each new day, there is another national tragedy. Though the problem is not specific to India, it does occur there in larger numbers than anywhere else; almost 30% of all stunted (referring to harmfully-low height and/or weight as a result of malnutrition) children of the world live in India, and the problem isn’t going away. A shocking 38.7% of Indian children under the age of 5 are stunted from chronic hunger.
- The number of starving children in India increases by 2.5% annually.
Not only is the problem not going away, it has been increasing steadily for a number of years now. India’s total population averages an annual growth of only 1.4% – meaning a higher and higher percentage of its population is starving each year.
- The problem isn’t centralized – 55% of children in the northern and eastern India are malnourished, along with 30% in the southern regions.
The size of the region and the rate of hunger are nearly uncorrelated. Some of the larger, more financially-sound states of India endure the highest rates of child hunger: 51% of all children in Uttar Pradesh (the most populous state in the country) are malnourished, as compared with other notable states such as Odisha (38%), West Bengal (35%), Gujarat (42%), and Bihar (49%).
- Hunger changes everything.
Hunger is responsible for 50% of all childhood deaths, but even the survivors are left with harsh, long-term effects. Severe hunger can stunt potential for height, brain development, and eyesight, among other things. Children who are starving endure higher stress levels, and are less likely to perform well in school. Hunger also lowers its survivors’ lifetime earning potential by more than 10%.
- You can help.
Here are two facts that should absolutely negate each other, yet sadly do not: nearly 1.3 million children in India die of hunger each year, and nearly 40% of all food in the world goes to waste. Even modest donations matter – it costs just $0.25 USD a day to provide a single child with the nutrients and vitamins he or she needs to be healthy. Organizations such as Love One More, use child sponsorship and donations from people like you to help combat the issue of child hunger in India. It is a genuine opportunity to make a difference in this world.
The good news is, together we can take the control away from hunger and give thousands of children in India their lives back. Through child sponsorship with Love One More, we take each child’s health into account first. They are brought to a clinic run by Love One More’s doctors and nurses where the child is medically screened, tested and evaluated for their nutritional status. If needed, a child will be treated for any illnesses or ailments. Children who are enrolled in the Love One More program are given three nutritious meals a day, building up their immune systems allowing them to grow healthy and strong. Many children enjoy eating porridge mixed with millet, beans, carrots, cauliflower and potato, rice with chicken and more!
You can change the life of a child for $35 a month! Would you consider joining the fight against hunger by sponsoring a child today?