Monday, January 14, 2013

Let Us Defeat Hunger


Recently I was reading 'Night' by Eli Wiesel and his experiences in the concentration camp in Germany. The time of his life when dignity, affection and relations succumbed to hunger.  Suffering snatched away any sense of humanity from him. As I read the text, I was reminded of Victor Frankel's memoirs one more time. Once again, it generated a deep pain and sadness in my heart. I can't even begin to understand what it is to have hunger rule all your instincts, duties and concerns.

Then I thanked God that the holocaust was over! Unfortunately, the feeling of gratitude didn't last too long because an advertisement on CNN shook it. It is not Nazis and it is not one particular race, but this time but it is poverty, conflicts and unequal wealth distribution in different parts of world responsible for death and suffering. 

I couldn't believe it and researched it and this is what I found on USA TODAY's page, 18,000 children die every day of hunger!!! Yes, it is true, as per the United Nations food agency's (World Food Program) report, "Some 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs"

Until when humans will die of hunger? 

I am pretty sure that there are enough resources in this world to feed every human being but we don't have time think about it. Yes, there are individuals and organizations that are working to fight hunger but they need our support to be successful. On one hand, there are people who are falling sick or dying because of overeating and on the other hand people are dying because of lack of food. Where's the balance? 

By the way, if this post reminds you of children in Africa, which it should, let me also share with you that the largest number of malnourished children is in India - more than 100 million and over 40 million in China (USA TODAY website). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life (Feeding America website). Lack of food or lack of access to food is a global issue, a reality in our own backyards!  

While our heads are down looking at these statistics, we might as well look at the fat on our bellies and decide to become fit physically and spiritually by sharing with the less fortunate.    

I am not rich but I can afford to buy a lipstick or a new shirt or eat out once in a while and I know there are many others like me. Can we give up one of those little random expenses just once a month and send it to a reliable organization that can serve as a conduit to feed the starving children and their care-takers? It is ok if you don't believe in helping through an organization, you can feed somebody near you, who is clearly hungry. Would you?

One last thing, share what is needed and where it is needed. Not where it is convenient or makes you look/feel good. Please think it through when you share and do it right! Share, my friends, even if it is in small amount. 

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