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Grain Wastage in India


Grain or, wheat to be more specific, is a main staple of most Indian diet.  Many Indians swear that without the flat wheat breads served with spiced vegetables daily, the palate is not satisfied nor is the appetite.  For a country that uses so much wheat, wasting the massive amount that it does is a shame when the grain can be put to good use.       

If the millions of tons of wheat that cannot be stored were distributed to the many poor who are starving to death, it would be better than leaving it to rot.  Recently, a news report on TV stated that surplus grain housed in anopen warehouse in Punjab was rotting due to poor storage.  This is sad considering that the government has not sold this excess on the world markets or even made arrangements to distribute the grains to the many thousands who are starving.  It is just sitting there.  How difficult can creating a simple distribution system be?  India can use the concept of soup kitchens or communal eateries to provide all this wheat to the poor.  And if budget is an issue, the bags of grain can be directly given to poor communities as is often done in post natural disaster recovery operations.

Grain Wastage in India

This is a serious issue.  Many people regularly donate money to charity organizations that provide food to the poor, only in this case, it is the government who should give away excess foodstuffs that cannot be stored or used any other way.  It would certainly help the hunger issues of the poor and in the long run create a more productive labor force.  It is upsetting that government officials who sit in their elected positions of responsibility do not move for the benefit of the people.  Besides, this would help them as well, if they really thought about it carefully.  Rather than going into that point, it would suffice to say that this scenario of grain wastage is but one example of how ineffective and careless the Indian government really is.

Some people follow the adage, use what you can today, save the rest for tomorrow.  However,in the case of food items such as grain, what is saved for tomorrow becomes old and often unhealthy considering India’s humid weather.  Well, last I heard, even a Supreme Court order did not move the stone hearts of the Punjab government.  And that is proof of the callousness of quite a few desi politicians.



Minal J Patel


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