This is better that merely upbraiding the Planning Commission. It tells it like it is, not an abstract."
India, What Did You Eat Yesterday?By MALAVIKA VYAWAHARE and SRUTHI GOTTIPATI
Inflation continues to soar in India as the economy cools, raising food prices faster than incomes for many working men and women. Meanwhile, the country’s food distribution system is so fundamentally broken, Vikas Bajajwrites in The New York Times, that most of the massive crops of wheat and grain grown in India never reach the people they are intended for, and tons of food is rotting away.
India Ink took to the streets to some basic questions: ‘What did you have to eat yesterday?’ and ‘Is it less than you ate a few years ago?’
Santosh, 55, cleaner
Income: 1,700 rupees (about $30) a month
Breakfast: Black tea (can no longer afford milk)
Lunch: Chickpea curry , fenugreek leaves, potato with vegetable and one and a half rotis
Dinner: One serving of rice and one serving of dal
How has your food consumption and expenditure changed in recent years?
Food consumption has not changed, expenditure on food has doubled.
Amar Bahadhur Singh, 63, auto driver
Income: 15,000 rupees ($270) per month.
Breakfast: Parle biscuits (cookies that retail for 2 rupees a pack)
Lunch: Three rotis (flat bread) and okra
Dinner: Some rice and split red gram curry (dal)
Daily: Three to four cups of tea
How has food expenditure of consumption changed in recent years?
I spend 100 rupees (about $1.80) every week on vegetables and still they finish very quickly.
V. Suprabha, 43, researcher and teacher trainer
Income: 50,000 rupees (about $900) a month.
Breakfast: Dosa (a rice batter crepe), coconut chutney
Lunch: Rice, beans and rasam (a spicy lentil broth)
Dinner: Vegetables, lentils and roti
How has your food consumption or expenditure changed in recent years?
Now spends 3,200 rupees (about $57) a month on food, or 300 to 400 rupees ($5 to $7) every few days. “We’ve started calculating it weekly, not monthly,” she said. Vegetables that used to cost 40 rupees (about 70 cents) a kilogram now cost 80 rupees (about $1.5). Ms. Suprabha feels the pinch especially with fruits. “Mangoes are sky-rocketing,” she said, and “plums and peaches are something I can’t afford to buy.”
Phoolkumar, 37, guard
Income: 7,129 rupees (about $130) a month
Breakfast: Did not have breakfast (usually eats tea and biscuits)
Lunch: Five rotis, one bowl chickpea curry, bottle gourd vegetable curry
Dinner: Potato and pointed gourd vegetable curry, spinach curry and five rotis
Tea: Three to four cups a day
How has food expenditure or consumption changed in recent years?
Spends about 3,000 rupees (about $54) a month on food, which has not changed. He does not want to compromise on food.
Raju, 10, sells pens on the street
Income: 3,000 rupees (about $54) a month
Breakfast: Tea in the morning
Lunch: Two rotis and kidney bean curry
Dinner: Three rotis and a potato and spinach
How has food consumption changed in last few years?
M. Deen Reshi, 21, shop owner
Income: 18,000 to 22,000 rupees ($324 to $396) a month.
Breakfast: Two eggs, one slice of bread and two cups of Kashmiri tea
Lunch: Mixed tomato vegetable, two pieces of chicken and rice
Dinner: Mixed vegetable and three pieces of fried fish
How has food expenditure or consumption changed?
Spends nearly half his income on food. Though business is not as good lately, does not feel the need to eat less or lower quality food.
Brijkishore, 45, auto rickshaw driver
Income: 10,000 rupees (about $180) a month
Lunch: Three rotis and ridge gourd
Dinner: red lentils, curry and rice
Daily: One glass of milk
How has food consumption and expenditure changed in recent years?
Used to drink two glasses of milk a day, and the quantity of food has decreased.
Neelam Jena, 24, research associate
Income: 25,000 rupees (about $450) per month
Breakfast: Idli sambar (steamed rice and lentil cakes with vegetable stew)
Lunch: Rice, dal, chicken curry and yogurt
Dinner: Vegetables, lentils, rotis and yogurt
How has food expenditure and consumption changed in recent years?
Spends 3,500 rupees ($63) a month on food, up 1,000 rupees ($18) from a few years ago.
Anuja Bajpai, 23, unemployed recent college graduate
Income: Nothing (she gets an allowance from her parents)
Lunch: Paratha (fried flat bread), with potatoes and green pepper
Dinner: Lentils, and chapatis (another flat bread) with rice
How has food consumption or expenditure changed in recent years?
She spent 1,000 rupees (about $18) a month on food while in college, in addition to the dorm meals. Now, she says, food prices are “increasing day by day.”--