Hunger Watch-2 Survey: India’s second COVID-19 wave too saw penury: study

What is the News?

According to the Hunger Watch-2 Survey, India’s second wave that didn’t see a national lockdown like in the first failed to significantly alleviate economic distress and hunger among the poor.

What is the Hunger Watch-2 Survey?

The Survey was commissioned by the Right To Food Campaign and The Center for Equity Studies to evaluate economic distress following the second wave. 

Around 6,500 respondents in 14 States had participated in the survey.

Note: The same organizations had conducted a similar survey, Hunger Watch–1 to measure the fallout of the first wave.

What are the key findings of the Hunger Watch-2 Survey?

Decrease in Income: Around 66% of the respondent’s income had decreased as compared to the pre-pandemic period. This proportion was larger among urban households, among households earning less than ₹3,000 per month and among Muslim households. 

Food Insecurity: Around 79% of the households reported some form of food insecurity and 25% reported severe food insecurity. Those belonging to socially vulnerable groups reported a higher decline in the consumption of food.

Nutritional Quality: As many as 41% of households reported that the nutritional quality of their diet had deteriorated compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Source of Income: Non-agricultural casual labour was a prominent source of employment in rural and urban areas. 

School Dropout: 18% of all households reported that a child that was in school before the pandemic had dropped out.

PDS System: PDS system is providing relief. Around 84% of the households had a ration card and over 90% of those who were eligible received some food grains. However, other schemes such as Mid–Day Meal Scheme or the Integrated Child Development Services weren’t effective. 

Source: This post is based on the article India’s second COVID-19 wave too saw penury: studypublished in The Hindu on 24th February 2022.

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