Just want to draw your attention to a New York Times article on hunger in India. It seems the country’s food safety net isn’t working. Forty-two percent of children under five are underweight!
Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.
Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered in the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.
Jim Yardley, the Times reporter, goes on to say that members of India’s Congress Party are trying to find a new approach to fighting hunger. Whatever solution they come up with, I suspect Catholic orphanages — like the ones that CNEWA donors support through our child sponsorship program — will continue to play a key role.
Through our orphanages, children receive nutritious meals, a warm bed to sleep in, health care and a good education — blessings they would otherwise go without. Our kids don’t have to worry about the malnutrition that Yardley describes. Thanks be to God!