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HEALTH > DIET AND DIET REFORM PART II > SECTION I : GENERAL > Revealing Figures

 

54. Revealing Figures

The following facts and figures taken from a pamphlet entitled Food Crisis, 1946, are of special interest in view of the food shortage :

Production of Foodstuffs in India (1945-46)

Rice            25.8   million        tons

Wheat         8.3        ’’                ’’

Gram           3.0       ’’                 ’’

Millets         7.5       ’’                 ’’

Maize          2.2       ’’                 ’’

Barley         1.7       ’’                 ’’

The above quantity has been found insufficient for the total population of India and the estimated deficit is 6 million tons.

The Punjab, C. P. and Berar, Sind, Orissa and Assam are not exporters of cereals in normal times. The deficit areas are the N.W.F.P., Bihar, U.P., Madras, Bombay, Ben­gal, the States of Travancore and Cochin, all of which have to import either wheat, rice, millet, or all.

The production v. requirements of foodstuffs annually is as follows:

 

Foodstuffs

Production

Requirements

Deficit

 

million tons

million tons

million tons

Cereals

50

60

10

Pulses

7

12

5

Vegetables & Fruits

Unassessed

At least double

-

Fish

0.6

9

8.4

Milk

22

35

13

Eggs

2660

146000

143340(No.)

 

The following is a table of balanced diet for the maintenance of proper health:

Cereals                                         14 Oz.

Pulses                                          3 "

Green leafy vegetable                     3 "

Root vegetable                              3 "

Other vegetables                           3 "

Fruits                                          3 "

Milk                                             10 "

Sugar and Jaggery                         2 "

Vegetable oil, Ghee,                       etc. 2 "

Fish and meat                               3 "

Egg                                             1 Only

 

This diet yields about 2600 calories.

The adult Indian male requires       2600 calories

Female                                      2100       ”

Child 12 and 13 year                    2100       ”

Child 10 and 11 year                    1800       ”

Child 8 and 9 year                       1600       ”

Child 6 and 7 year                       1300       ”

Child 4 and 5 year                       1000       ”

Pregnant woman                         2400       ”

Nursing mother                           3000       ”

 

But how much do they get in comparison with other countries? The figures reveal a sorry tale:

Country                                Calories per head per day

America                                                   ... 3,200

Great Britain                                             ... 2,600

Germany (after the war)                             ... 1,600

Japan (under American occupation)                  1,575

'Grim and dangerous level'                               1,500

And India                                                       960

 

No wonder the death rate and infant mortality figures are appalling:

Country                          1942                      Infant mortality

                                     Death rate               per 1000

                                     per 1000                  births

Australia                      10.5                     39

Canada                        9.7                      54

America                       10.4                     40

Germany                      12.7 (1940)           68

England                       12.2 (1940)           54

Japan                          17.6 (1938)           114 (1937)

India                           22.0                     163

 

and our expectation of life woefully short:

Country

Expectation of life at birth

 

Males

Females

Netherlands

65.70

67.20 (1931-40)

New Zealand

65.46

68.45 (1934-38)

Sweden

64.30

66.92 (1936-40)

America

63.65

68.61

Denmark

63.50

65.80 (1936-40)

Union of S.A.

61.46

66.80 (1940)

Canada

60.90

64.70 (1940-42)

Ireland

59.00

51.00 (1940-42)

England

60.18

64.40 (1937)

Germany

59.86

62.80 (1932-34)

Italy

53.76

56.00 (1930-32)

Japan

46.92

49.63 (1935-36)

India

26.91

26.56 (1931)

 

Not until our people are able to get enough to eat, can all our schemes for proper housing or roads or even education and health be of any real avail. Adequate and proper diet is the first requirement of man, and to this end the energy of all Provincial Governments must be diverted forthwith if we are to live.

A. K.

Harijan, 8-9-1946