Issues in India

Food shortage: Some stop-gap remedies

Monsoon failure in several parts of India has resulted in food shortage. The central government is flooded with demands from certain states to declare several districts drought affected so that the farmers and the poor people could receive some monetary benefits or food items at concessional rates from government-run stores. But very often it is the high and mighty who corner a large chunk of allotted food items because there is no effective mechanism to monitor the distribution of rice, wheat and cereals. The traders find such situations as an opportunity to make quick money. They resort to hoarding and create artificial scarcity.

Those at the helm of affairs must realize that this is just a passing phase and could be managed by enforcing certain strict rules aimed at restricting lavish spending on feast and dinner parties by the rich and the upper middle class, as had been done in the 40s and 50s when there had been severe food shortage. When the demand for essential commodities is curtailed the artificial scarcity created by the traders will disappear.

Since the above said rules will have to be in force only for a short period the rich and the middle class people would not mind abiding by the government rules-even friendly appeal to these people will produce the desired effect.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

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