Lockdown forces rural households reduce food intake; Survey

National
Typography

 

The survey found that women were facing the brunt of the crisis. Nearly 62% of households reported their women members making more trips to fetch water and in 68% of households, women were spending more time in collecting fuel wood.

The lockdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic has forced a large number of people in rural India to skip many items and eat lesser number of times to overcome the financial crisis they are facing for nearly two months now.

A survey conducted by some civil society organisations to understand the impact of coronavirus-induced lock down found that out of 5000-plus rural households across 12 states, half of them were found to be eating fewer items and less number of times, reported Times of India.

A significant 68% of households said they had reduced food items in their meals, 50% households had reduced the number of times they were eating in a day and 24% of households had borrowed food grains.

While 84% of the households surveyed said they got ration through PDS, one-sixth households still remained deprived.

The study - “COVID-19 induced Lockdown – How is the Hinterland Coping?” covered 5162 households across 47 districts in 12 States between April 28 and May 2. The CSOs reached out to households in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajashtan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam and Karnataka.

It was a collaborative study by PRADAN, Action for Social Advancement, BAIF, Transform Rural India Foundation, Grameen Sahara, SAATHI-UP and The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) with research support of Vikas Anvesh Foundation and Sambodhi.

The study warns about fast depleting stocks with more than one-third of the households surveyed, saying they did not have any surplus from the last Kharif crop. Around one-third said their Kharif stock would last only till May-end.

The survey also found women having extra work load. Nearly 62% of households reported their women members making more trips to fetch water and in 68% of households, women were spending more time in collecting fuel wood.

A report released in the first week of May by SWAN (Stranded Workers Action Network) said that 50 percent of stranded migrant labourers have less than Rs 100; 97% didn't get cash transfer from government.

The  report said that of the 17,000 workers that reached out to them, only 6 percent have been paid their full wages during the lockdown and more than 99 percent of the self-employed — which includes painters, welders and electricians, among others — did not get paid at all.

“About 50 percent of the workers had rations left for less than a day. It increased to about 54 percent for a few days after 14 April but has been steady around the halfway mark throughout the period. About 72 percent of the workers said their rations will finish in 2 days. These are out of 10,170 stranded workers for whom we have this data,” the report further noted (with inputs from Times of India and Firstpost).

Image Credit: Business Standard

 

 

All Comments