India ranks quite low at 97th position out of 118 countries in terms of Global Hunger Index (GHI) with all Indian neighbors except Pakistan and Afghanistan faring much better than India (Pakistan’s ranking is 107). But such low ranking for India is doubted where there are free ‘lungars’ by Gurudwaras and many temples where any unlimited number of persons can take food without any quantity-restriction. Rather generosity of many religious-minded persons distributing free food in the morning in areas like Chandni Chowk (Delhi) is misused by smack-addicts and bad elements who waste all their earnings by fair or unfair means in drugs etc. Indian government should look into authenticity of such low GHI. Presently mostly extremely poor African countries only fair badly in comparison to India.
However it is also a bitter fact that a very large quantity of food worth thousands of crores of rupees is wasted in about one crore marriages held annually in India. Only recently Afghanistan having GHI even lower than India made initiative to curb heavy expenses in marriage-celebrations. Pakistan again having a low GHI has restriction on serving of food in celebrations like marriage-occasions. It may be recalled that during war-days and emergency-era, Indian governments at those times successfully imposed curbs on food-serving in marriages. In costly marriages, there is such large variety of dishes running at times even in hundreds, which even cannot be tasted by any individual. Indian government should impose restrictions on serving of food-items in marriages and other occasions.
Extra-rich persons can also be encouraged to commemorate family-functions by setting up public-utility institutions like schools, colleges or hospitals rather than racing for mega-expenses in private functions. Such commemorative-institutions can be blessed and graced with benign presence of VVIPs and celebrities. Bollywood’s super family of Amitabh Bachchan made a smart beginning by laying foundation-stone in name of Aishwarya Bachchan for a women-college in backward Daultapur (Barabanki) of UP on 27.01.2008 to commemorate an occasion. Political consensus should be developed so that welcome initiative started by the then Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit may be nationally adopted to compel elected representatives to boycott mega-budgeted functions.