Hunger is an issue which has been subject to much rigorous intellectual examination by economists, philosophers, sociologists, NGOs and governments. This volume provides a critical overview of current academic and political perspectives and then compares these views from thenon-hungry people with those of thehungry particularly from a broad range of poor communities in India. Their views are gathered using participatory rural appraisal techniques and the scale of the material presented is unprecedented. Not surprisingly, the comparisons show that the perceptions of the hungry are fundamentally different from those of the non-hungry. It makes compelling suggestions about how best policy makers can attempt to eliminate hunger based on what the hungry themselves suggest. The book also draws attention to the critical role of Common Property Resources and women in the fight against under-nutrition, which have so far been largely ignored.
Contents: Introduction; Institutional sanctions, choice and secondary food system as elements in the explanation of hunger; The theory of hunger: the economists' perspectives; The theory of hunger: the social and political perspectives; Community perspective on hunger from a backward state, village Chandpur, Varanasi; A second perspective on hunger in a backward state, from villagers of Tikri, Varanasi; Community perspective on hunger from vegetable producing farmers: village Uncha Gaon, Faridabad; Perspectives of rural women on food security from a tribal village (in West Bengal) - 1993 to 1998; A note on force field analysis of hunger in the four villages of Varanasi and Faridabad; A note on food security in villages of a perpetually hunger stricken district, Bolangir; Summary and conclusions: the reality check; References and select bibliography.