If no child ever went hungry

Imagine - 
If no child ever went hungry
Ever felt the insistent, unyielding pangs 
Of twisting, demanding, hunger
If no child ever went to bed, with a hollow stomach
Full of unfulfilled hopes and desires
And dreamt dreams replete with bowls and bowls
Of nourishment, tragically out of reach
If no child's life was ebbed away into silence
Sparks vanquished by the lack 
Of something as basic as food?

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda and I am going to imagine such a world. 3000 children die in India everyday because of something as basic as hunger. Three square meals a day - not to mention numerous snacks in between and the access to anything which our taste buds desire - these are privileges that you and I take for granted. And I believe that's where the problem lies. The people who can feed themselves do not value the food on their plates. We mass produce to the extent that numerous food products remain unsold, get spoilt and are relegated to the 'waste' section. That's where businesses are at fault. We also trivialise and disrespect the access to nourishment by taking more than we need; more than we can take; everyday at decadent buffets, ill-planned parties and even our own homes and offices. All this good food, that should have ideally been working magic in the growth-hungry cells of these little children, is flowing into dust bins and ungrateful tummies. We do have enough food - we just haven't figured a method to equitable distribution of this food.

PM Narendra Modi has unveiled the Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan. What we need now is a Bhook Mukti Abhiyan - a movement to ensure that every morsel of food in the nation reaches its rightful destination. The government's midday meal schemes haven't quite worked miracles. The food is often poor in quality and sometimes even causes food poisoning among unsuspecting kids. Along with the elimination of wastage, we need to focus on two things - complete intolerance for poor quality and malpractices, and freedom from the archaic, irrational school of thought that one can beget any number of children, irrespective of one's economic status and it will always be a good thing. No, it's not always a good thing to bear children. Children come with responsibilities and if these cannot be fulfilled, it is better that the poor take the right birth control measures to avoid the trauma of feeding yet another mouth.

Well-nourished children and educated children go together. Because education teaches us to deliberate before we act and education makes us aware of right and wrong; even if we choose not to heed the advice of our rational minds.

There is also a global perspective to this problem. Developed countries have a surplus of food, while developing and under-developed countries struggle to fulfil the basic needs of their burgeoning populace. Let's take food to where it is required and let's not think about monetary gains while we do so. Let us all develop a social conscience that makes it impossible for us to stomach an innocent child's hunger.

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