原文标题：No one starves in India. The poor drink, get sick and die
Being underweight is a “national shame” in India but starving to death, well, that just does not happen.
When a survey revealed that 42% of India’s children are underweight, Manmohan Singhcalled it a “national shame.”
But when a Gita Devi dies of starvation, the village council chief shrugs, writes Ashwin Parulkar, researcher at New Delhi think tank Centre for Equity Studies, in the Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time. Read Parulkar’s six part India Real Time series on Starving in India: The Forgotten Problem.
新德里智库公正研究中心的研究员Ashwin Parulkar，在为《华尔街日报》的“真实的印度”中写道：“但是，当Gita Devi饿死时，村委会头目无动于衷。”Parulkar在“真实的印度”专栏中写了六篇关于“印度的饥饿：遗忘的问题”的文章。
“Gita Devi,” he said between a gulp of tea and a bite of biscuit “died of tuberculosis.”
“These people are poor,” he explained. “They drink. So they have health problems. They get sick. And die.”
Bas. Case closed.
What the series, done in association with the Centre for Equity Studies, shows, is that we cannot admit to starvation deaths because it would mean admitting to an entire systemic failure up and down the chain.
“Gita Devi 死于肺结核”，他一口饼干一口茶，说道。
It would mean admitting to negligence or corruption.
It would mean admitting to flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling that states have a legal responsibility to ensure that people have adequate food.
It would mean admitting to the fact that public distribution system was defunct.
It would mean admitting that the government mandated mid-day school meal, only happens four or five days a month because the school is closed the other days. It does not have enough staff.
It would mean admitting to prickly unpleasant questions about why the poorest of the poor, the ones starving to death in a food-surplus country, belong to the most backward castes.
It’s much easier instead to announce yet another Mukhyamantri Yojana (chief minister’s scheme) that does not reach the people and dismiss the deaths that do happen.
Eight people died in Hindiyankalan village in Jharkhand in one night in October 2008. The official verdict – they died of food poisoning from eating gethi, a toxic wild root. True. But the real question is – can we imagine the hunger that drives a family to eat wild roots it knows are toxic?
Read the India Real Time series because the stories, while bleak and heartrending, are not just an Arundhati Roy-esque rant against the system. They are stories about policy and policy failure but with the faces of real people.
“My mother died in the morning after drinking water,” he said. “The same night, my daughter passed away. The next morning, my wife also died of starvation,” he added, straight-faced.
Vilas wasn’t done with the surprises.
“Now my second wife is ill,” he said. “And we don’t have enough food to give her.”
And once you have read the stories, read some of the comments to understand the scale of the problem.
Sosad writes, “This article, like many that can be found in the pages of western media, casually mentions the caste of the people discussed here. The clear implication will be that somehow upper caste folks are oppressing these people. And this type of reporting is pervasive, since many of the reporters doing these articles have clear left leanings and their own caste agendas.”
Ratnesh says, “Gita Devi died after giving birth to her SIXTH child….read that again….S I X T H child. A family that can barely manage to feed its existing members has no right to keep bringing in more hungry mouths into this world.”
Ratnesh说，“Gita Devi在生下第六个小孩后死的....再读一遍....第六个小孩. 一个家庭既然都养不了活着的人，就没权生更多吃东西的嘴巴。”
Sorry, Sosad this is not about right or left and bleeding heart liberal handwringing versus tough free market policies. Sorry, Ratnesh, this is not about a failure of family planning.
This is about the utter failure of the safety net.
In that sense, the series is being too charitable with its headline – Starving in India: The Forgotten Problem. There is something benign about forgetting – like a missed birthday or misplaced keys.
The problem is not forgotten as much as it is ignored, shoved under the carpet or just blatantly denied.
Only one person uses the word “forget” in the story. It’s Paro Devi from Jharkhand whose husband starved to death after his construction jobs dried up.
“I haven’t tasted dal (lentils) in so long I forget what it tastes like,” she says.
对不起，Sosad, 这不是关于左倾或右倾，以及软心肠自由主义对严苛的自由市场政策。对不起，Ratnesh, 这不是关于失败的家庭计划。
FishTank ? 3 months ago
there is a word for it, its called poverty porn. Do something and then write about it.只
Rasik ? 3 months ago ? parent
What are you doing to solve this problem, other than commenting on this article??? Writing about poverty helps to solve the problem in the sense that it highlights the problem. Otherwise, how does one know about the existence of this problem? The first thing towards the solution of a problem is recognizing the problem. India has surplus food grain production. Despite this, millions are still starving. Frequently media come up with reports that millions of tons of food grain are rotting in the warehouses. So the problem is not about the lack of food in the country to feed the poor, but about the sorry state of food grain management. Government failure in distributing food to the needy. Starvation in India underlines the problems in the system - lack of proper mechanism to identify the real poor, and our political leadership's failure to chalk out programs aimed at providing the needy with provision so that instances of starvation deaths could be avoided. Powerful articles on the subject can serve as wake-up call to not only our politicians, but also to innumerable NGOs and philanthropic organizations working in the rural India. Only collective efforts with mass participation can solve the problem, and media plays an important role in galvanizing people into a mass movement against poverty.
leo ? 3 months ago ? parent
You wouldn't discuss it otherwise. Denying the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exists.
Guest ? 3 months ago
Its 65 years. and the governments still believes that the cities are the real India.
Eventually everyone has to migrate to the cities.
All development is for the cities. Only free power and free grains for the rest of the India.
How long can governments go on with this mind-set.
And then they would complain about the maoists. !
Akash ? 3 months ago ? parent
Maoists have the answer? They even blow up schools. These mad Maoists and their supporters like Arundhati Roy are part of the problem. Because of the Maoists, even the elementary support which worked are now in disrepair.
Guest ? 3 months ago ? parent
That's the point Akash.
How did they come into existence, who are a headache today ?
Cnu4frnds ? 3 months ago ? parent
Not to worry, this flawed approach of restricting to cities will result in a breakdown in the near future with over population in the cities, unemployment etc. The whole system is defunct, a complete overhaul is of utmost necessity
Vijay Palaniappan ? 3 months ago
One question to MMS,
You know well ... How Great Roman Empire came down,,, just because of its own people. suffering of working class was ignored by Rome.
Have you ever honestly tried to solve the problem of poverty in India in the current office term?
I know, you don't have power, but if you would have tried and failed, it is a different story.
You are not like other politicians, then how can you eat your food without any feelings.
I can't enjoy the food in a restaurant happily, because before entering, I see my fellow malnourished Indians waiting both sides of the road.
Sure, god will hear the curse of all our hungry people due to poor governance
Your govt, party will be erased soon in the Indian history
Ajit ? 3 months ago ? parent
v p we finally rely on god to do the magic, why cant we all middle class come out on next election and make compulsory population control main issue.
my dream india -2020 80 crore population and 10 times gdp!!!!!!!!!!!
我梦想中的印度 —— 2020年8亿人口， 10倍的GDP！！！
Karenachu9005 ? 3 months ago
unless.....this damn.....politicians stop cheating & smuggling our nation....this will go on....
leaving the poor distressed and dying....
Ajith S ? 3 months ago
Good area to focus. So called reformists are talking about having condom vending machines in Colleges.... !!! What to say???
reena ? 3 months ago ? parent
Ummm...there should always be easy access to birth control. It reduces the birth rate and results in a higher standard of living for everyone. I would LOVE to find out what your reasoning is behind not wanting women and men to have access to birth control and ESPECIALLY the published studies you've used to develop that opinion.
Guest ? 3 months ago ? parent
Is that bad ?
freedune ? 3 months ago ? parent
Some people think that promoting contraception promotes premarital sex. Invoke Mr. T!
Barath Madhavan ? 3 months ago
Root of all problems is corruption. There are enough schemes and policies if implemented properly will benefit everyone. Only God knows what is in the store for the future
Anthony ? 3 months ago
Thanks to 60 years of Congress Raj aka British Raj 2.0....these people can provide food to general public and they talk about Democracy. What is the use of democracy if people are dying of hunger? Time to Change the center government.
Madan ? 3 months ago
There is much truth in the reports, so we can forget about the political leanings of the journalists. There are water and food shortages all over the country. The pity is that many of these problems can be solved by simple interventions. But corrupt politicians and an indifferent media ignore these problems. Huge amounts of money earmarked for the people are lost in the bureaucracy, and in corrupt schemes.
Rajaram V.V. ? 3 months ago ? parent
I have seen the poverty at Haridwar railyway station. Many people are found sleeping in the platform in unonscious state/immobile condition due to hunger and thrist. You can count the bones in thier ribs as the bodies look like skelton
kishore Reddy ? 3 months ago
People in Rural regions need awareness about family planning..... A poor man with two wives and ten children has no chance......
Kbrisley ? 3 months ago ? parent
Are you aware of what the lowest caste earn there? It would be a choice between spending money on condoms or food and when you are starving there is only one choice. Next people will suggest abstinence not realizing that many of these people are so poorly educated that they do not realize how babies are made or what to do to stop it from happening. Try abstinence yourself and see how it goes - even priests who have made vows and know they will burn in hell for eternity cannot seem to bring themselves to do it.
Guest ? 3 months ago ? parent
Right.. A condom costs five rupee plus !
freedune ? 3 months ago ? parent
Poor man with two wives?
kishore Reddy ? 3 months ago ? parent
Yes it is the case in many villages.... If you read the article properly you will notice that author mentioned an example where a poor man has two wives......
This usually happens in certain societies although they are poor are proud of number of children and wives they have.... or multiple marriages are encouraged to have male child......
congi_chor ? 3 months ago ? parent
The issue is given reputation of current government...even condoms being distributed free will be sold and proceeds invested by sonia maino and raul in their swiss account....:)
FB ? 3 months ago
It's amazing how many people on this message board don't get one extremely simple principle "Don't shoot the messenger, look at the message". Is there any disagreement whether extreme poverty exists in India? Do people actually believe the current PDS is so efficient and non-corrupt so as to deliver the benefits to the needy?
Also, it is sad to see that many people on this board have got the direction of causality between population and poverty very wrong. The poor are forced to have more children because of their circumstances. For them, more people mean more hands which can earn wages. This is especially relevant when the wages per head are capped due to various inefficiencies. Also, due to diseases and other factors, it is very probable that they lose some of the earning members. Hence, for them, it makes a lot of sense to have a large family.
FishTank ? 3 months ago
tear jerker, sigh, please someone give the journalist a pulitzer or something, so that he can hang it on the frame, if you care about the poor of India, do something about it, else please shu t up. Forcing the PM to admit to starvation issues, while he has already admitted to malnutrition is called nitpicking. And please go and ask why the westerners are doing nothing to solve the issues of India, I mean all of us are humans right. Now they crucified the Indians saying we are callous and shallow, but what does it say for westerners to consume guzzling colas and eating and becoming fat while indians starve, don't they have a duty towards humanity. Are they inhuman. Enough of tear jerking moralizing. Do something.
virtualmonkey ? 3 months ago
I was embarrassed, but took courage one night and asked a construction worker in Chennai City, if he could find someone to eat some leftover. He sent his mother, and the old lady was smiling and full of grace. Must I say more about our country ?
Circa 2012...in the Name of Our Bloody Lord.....long dead & gone
Shiv ? 3 months ago
No need to be emotional - the truth is that all the people cannot be fed on the current agricultural production. If the Government hasnt got the will to implement compulsory family planning - they should withdraw the free immunisation program at least. Why waste money on poor children to make them live a life of grinding poverty anyway.
freedune ? 3 months ago ? parent
You are such a lovely person! I bet your mother loves you.
Marco ? 3 months ago
Actually every one is selfish for well being of there kiths and kins and
no one bothers about the rest. Its not just politicians but rather
every one- This is a Selfish World.
Its pity that who could make it COMPLETE right and I feel its just GOD, but its tearful to see the God's photo behind the baby..
If you cant manage to take care the basic necessities of your family
then reduce the suffering by any means rather than waiting for a helping
S kumar Parmar ? 3 months ago
Because INDIA is great country, Our Politicians believe and
follow our ancient thoughts. They think firstly fill their stomach then to
others. But when their own pockets are seems to empty how it is possible to
help the others? So People think when there is life; death will definitely
be....So carry on..!!!
Hank ? 3 months ago ? parent
"Because INDIA is great country!" you sound like every telemarketer our there selling bullshit