Where has all the flour gone?

It is all very well for countries in Europe to have festivals related to food, such as the Bread Festival which is going on in France this week, or the Tomatina Fiesta in Spain and the Ivrea Carnival in Italy where people pelt tomatoes and oranges at each other. It is all very well that in Hong Kong most people uphold the 'tradition' of ordering too much food as a sign of abundance when they treat others to dinner. But it is unsettling that in a country like India, some children have to eat dried mud and silica to quell their hunger pangs, as a BBC feature article reports.

Even though one third of the world's poorest people live in India, the country has no shortage of food. And with its economy continuing to grow at impressive speed, India should be able to feed its people. However, despite the efforts made to improve the situation, such as the national Right to Food campaign, and the Food Security Bill to be debated by the parliament, the problem remains that huge quantities of food provided by the state good missing because of corruption and theft. According to official estimates, 75% of subsidised grain does not make it to the intended target. So unless the Indian government shows resolve to improve the delivery system and tackle the corruption problem, the subsidised food will not reach the people who need it most, and the situation of poor people eating mud and falling ill will continue.

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