When India gained independence from the British in 1947, it was still reeling from the impact of the 1943 Bengal famine that left 3-4 million people dead. The new leaders of our country were determined to make the fight against hunger a priority. Yet, according to the UN, India is still home to a quarter of the world’s undernourished population today. The struggle against hunger continues. And among those fighting to give us independence from this scourge are these 5 men and women, who we honour this Independence Day.
According to the annual report by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, released in May this year, India has 194.6 million undernourished people, which is the highest number in the world. This means that 15 percent of our population lives in acute hunger.
And yet, in the face of this grim reality, there are many individuals and organizations who shine a beacon of hope for the hungry. From small initiatives that involve distributing food amongst a few hundred homeless in the neighbourhood, to feeding millions through well-organized NGO campaigns, our countrymen and women are leaving no stone unturned to free India from hunger and malnourishment.