Greetings to all our supporters.
The very high food inflation continues to hit the poor very hard. although they may work on the land in the villages the land does not often belong to them and even if they own a little of their own the drought means they are unable to plant crops . As a response the trust has started giving high energy and protein biscuits at our kindergarten situated in a very poor village.
This from the National Press illustrates the scale of the problem,
NEW DELHI: Rising food prices has hit the government's food scheme targeted at children below six years. States including Assam, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Bihar have not been able to give supplementary nutrition to children regularly because of inflation while others have downgraded to dry rations instead of hot cooked meals. In a meeting with the Centre on Friday, states demanded that the cost of supplementary nutrition programme be linked with consumer price index.
Women and child development (WCD) ministry representatives said that nearly all states had been adversely hit by inflation and were unable to satisfy demands for supplementary nutrition under the integrated child development scheme ( ICDS). WCD minister Krishna Tirath said, "We will consider the issue and also that of raising the honorarium for anganwadi workers." There is no end to rising food prices in India. Food inflation rose to 15.57 per cent for the period ended January 15, on account of spiraling vegetable prices. Vegetable prices rose by 67.07 per cent on an annual basis. Onions have turned out to be the costliest vegetable. It rose by a whopping 111.58 per cent year-on-year, thus, showing that government initiatives like export ban were not effective. On an annual basis, prices of fruits went up by 16.40 per cent while milk became expensive by 12.44 per cent. Prices of egg, meat and fish went up by 13.58 per cent year-on-year.
Imagine what it would be like going to bed hungry. No food or supplementary nutrition is reaching this children from government sources, only wit your kind help we are trying to do what we can.
Please kindly help us respond to this crisis. with thanks to you all
Winter has come to the Villages of Bihar. The nights can be bitterly cold for those without proper shelter or warm clothing. Followers of People First on Global Giving will have noticed the successful appeal for Blankets and and warm clothing for the poor, (the winter warmth appeal) which was recently completed, and it still enables the Trust to distribute these life saving items.
But of course a hot healthy meal can play a great part in equipping the poor, (especially children) against the cold, It can strengthen their immune system, ward off illnesses and of course malnutrition, and in conjunction with other interventions by our health team and community workers can really help the poor and their families promote and maintain their well being,
Recently the price of basic food items due to the poor monsoon has reached levels beyond the affordability of the poor.
The price of Onions has risen to 30 Indian rupees per pound, ( about 75 cents), but these are people who may earn only a dollar a day. Other vegetables have also increased substantially. The importance of this programme has therefore taking on an even more important role.
You may think what difference one or two healthy meals a week can make to children's health. I can tell you as Health Project Manager it can make a huge difference. These children are undernourished and underfed and underweight. We have seen a marked and huge improvement in their general health since we have been providing these meals.
I would like to thank all of you for your generous support and would like to send my personal greetings to you at this festive time.
You can follow our work at www.peoplefirstindia.net
May you have a great new year!
And Thanks Again,
Sangeeta and the Community Health Team, People First
Supporters of People First will be aware of the incredible division between North and South Bihar, between Floods which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and a severe drought which has meant it has been impossible for farmers to plant rice, they have in desperation turned to other crops but with no sure chance of success. Global Giving supporters will also be aware of the sad case of the three orphaned girls (see our latest update on our rescue junction page) whose father was so poor he gave what little food they had to his children and maybe died of starvation, although the government deny this.
What is plain is our health team are seeing increasing malnutrition and hunger due to the failed monsoon amongst children in the villages. This report is from the Hindusthan Times Newspaper.
Bihar Govt in denial over starvation deaths
The Bihar government is unaware of any starvation death in the state. Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had recently directed all district magistrates of 38 districts of the state to keep a tab on any case of starvation, it has not received information of even one instance.
However, the Advisor to the Commissioner of Supreme Court, to monitor the implementation of food-related schemes of the Bihar government, has said in a report there have been 100 starvation deaths in the last three years in the state - based on media reports.
The report was submitted to the Commissioner of the Supreme Court N.C. Saxena on October 16.
The report, which points to gaping holes in implementation of different schemes, assumes significance as 26 out of 38 districts in Bihar had been declared drought affected.
The state's Minister for Food and Consumer Protection Narendra Singh expressed surprised. "We are not aware of this figure. How can you prove that the deaths were caused by starvation? They might have died due to some disease," he said.
The situation is serious. Remember a good meal can do much to help and is part of an overall health care programme. It is not given in Isolation.
The photographs show the state of the river outside my house which should be in full flow at this time of year and pictures from the feeding programme. the liitle water in it is only one inch deep.
Global Giving is matching funds on October 12th, up to $500 30%, up to $1000 40% and $1000 to $ 2,500, 50% so this would be a great time to give. And what is the cost of one meal?
One Dollar. Please give up just one lunch this week and donate!
We thank you so much for your support,
Visit our website at www.peoplefirstindia.net
Ths quote from Pramila Devi, mother of four from a desperately poor village near Gaya in Bihar
illustrates the anguish of many poor families. Already with so many children suffering from malnutrution with no rains and irrigation canals empty our nutruitous meal programme is more important than ever. As part of a comprehensive health care programme it plays a vital part in helping to restore childrens health.What we give them is a Lentil and rice mix with sunflower oil, as any kind of oil is completly missing in thier diet, with eggs.We also give vitamins.
We hope you will consider supporting this programme and hep us feed these malnourished and hungry children.
The following article is from the Guardian Newspaper in the UK and is reproduced from our monsoon newsletter. If you would like a copy please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with please send newsletter!
This article from the guardian newspaper dated 14th July illustrates the misconception that India a developing country with double digit growth does not have terrible poverty. Where we work in Bihar, far away from the metro and flyovers of Delhi little has changed.
MORE OF THE WORLDS POOR LIVE IN INDIA THAN IN ALL OF SUB SAHARAN AFRICA SAYS STUDY
There are more poor people in eight states of India than in the 26 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a study reveals today.
More than 410 million people live in poverty in the Indian states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, researchers at Oxford University found. The "intensity" of the poverty in parts of India is equal to, if not worse than, that in Africa. When the vast central Indian Madhya Pradesh state, which has a population of 70 million, was compared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the war-racked African state of 62 million inhabitants, the two were found to have near-identical levels of poverty. The study is based on an innovatory "multidimensional poverty index", or MPI, developed by specialists at Oxford. To be used for the first time in the authoritative and influential United Nations Human Development Report when it is published this autumn, it will replace a simpler method of calculating poverty introduced over a decade ago.
The index uses 10 major variables including access to good cooking fuel, schooling, electricity, nutrition and sanitation. "[It] is like a high-resolution lens which reveals a vivid spectrum of challenges facing the poorest households," said Dr Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and a co-developer of the index. "Before, you might know a person was poor but did not know if their children went to school, if they had a floor or if they cooked on wood."
The survey found that in Madhya Pradesh poverty levels were higher because of malnutrition. In Congo, access to schooling was a problem.
The study's conclusions will reinforce claims that distribution of the wealth generated by India's rapid economic growth – recently around 10% year on year – is deeply unequal. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has repeatedly said he wants to see "inclusive" development.
Poverty has long proved difficult to define. The World Bank bases its definition on household income and estimates that a quarter of the developing world lives on $1.25 (85p) a day or less. However, relying simply on money "excludes everything that is outside the cash economy and doesn't look at issues such as housing [or] access to safe water" said William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations Development Programme in New York. "The new index gives us a much fuller portrait."
To compile the index, researchers analysed data from 104 countries with a combined population of 5.2 billion, 78% of the world total. About 1.7 billion – a third - live in multidimensional poverty, they found. This is 400 million more than are estimated by the World Bank to be in "extreme" poverty. The new index is also designed to track variations within countries much better. So while the poverty rate is more than 80% in the rural state of Bihar, it is about 16% in the southern state of Kerala.
Some countries have dropped steeply down the poverty rankings in the new list. Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco were found to have much more poverty under the new index than when using simple household income. Others, such as Tanzania, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and China were found to have less. China was ranked 46 out of 104, three places behind Brazil. India came in 63rd, just after Togo but ahead of Haiti.
"In many cases, it is probably linked to previously high levels of social investment," Alkire said. "It shows that a low per capita GDP income doesn't necessarily mean high poverty."A second index to gauge poverty in developed nations is now planned.
Thank you for your Help. Please visit our emergency appeal for watwer pumps on Glbakl Giving as this is also vital to Childrens Health.
I wanted to explain how important this programme is. It is the give a fish or teach a man to fish thing.
However, the meal programme is not in isolation, rather it is a most important part of a whole picture. This programme of providing a nutritious meal to the children and old people of a village is part of an overall health programme, which includes preventative care, health education and the provision of clean water (please see our water pump appeal on Global Giving).
You may have heard of midday meal schemes for schoolchildren in India; these do not exist or rather are not functioning in the villages we hope to continue this vitally important provision.
The Public distribution system has failed in this area, people and children are hungry and this is having a very serious effect on children’s health.
Please help us put them back on the road to health by supporting our Appeal
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