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Listen: How Bad Is India's Hunger Problem Right Now and What Can Be Done?

According to suggestions made by economists to the Central government, there is an easy solution available to solve the hunger crisis in India, which is to universalise PDS.

In this short podcast, The Wire‘s correspondent Kabir Agarwal explains that of the 800 million people who were promised five kg grain for April, May and June, 200 million people haven’t received any ration for the month of April and it is unclear if they will still get it. These 200 million people fall under the purview of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Agarwal says that in addition to these 200 million who have not received what was promised, there are a large number of people who don’t have ration cards along with people whose ration card applications are pending. These people don’t have access to food grains either. Then there are people who don’t fall under NFSA because the current PDS is based on Census 2011 and India’s population has grown by 150 million in the last ten years.

According to suggestions made by economists to the Central government, there is an easy solution available to solve the hunger crisis in India, which is to universalise PDS.

Agarwal has reported that currently, the government has surplus grain, around 77 million, which is in addition to some more grain that the government procured in the Rabi season.

So there is enough food grain with the government to feed the hungry but it is unclear why the government is not taking these suggestions.

Tune in to the podcast to learn more. You can read more about it here.