This Hunger Map Project is shaped to achieve the following goals enlisted in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:
One of our realization while providing emergency relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was that Mumbai needs a functional crisis management infrastructure to aid the system during extreme situations like an economic shutdown. The Hunger Map Project is an evidence-based policy intervention aimed at improving the already existing system by identifying critical pockets in the city which require urgent assistance and come up with effective solutions. It aims to propose a model of relief methods with an active participation from the civil society in coordination with the local government infrastructure.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015, has enlisted Zero Hunger as Goal number 2 in its comprehensive list. It aims to “End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and improve Nutrition” and thus serves as an essential underpinning, from an existential perspective. While acknowledging that all of the goals are co-related, we are exploring policy-oriented solutions to hunger.
The Hunger Map is not an academic exercise in isolation but it is a set of complementary evidence-based multilevel, multidimensional and nuanced interventions. It is centred on the problem of poverty, viewed through the prism of hunger.
Hunger and its satiation is at the heart of healthcare and consequently a cornerstone of the right to life and human dignity, as universally guaranteed by the Constitution of India as well as the United Nations Charter of Human Rights.
If vulnerable populations are fed inadequately, they will lack nutrition, which in turn will result in lower immunity levels, which in turn will make them susceptible to sickness. Thus, an adequate quantity of food with adequate nutrition is medicine in itself, to prevent sickness as a natural shield.
The problem of Hunger in India is not limited to one city or one region. Considering this, the Hunger Map project aims to address the problem in three phases:
The available data on hunger and poverty in Mumbai, is dated and lacks a feedback loop, thus rendering it obsolete, for any measurable impactful intervention.
While understanding this problem, this project’s objectives have 7 levels:
The aims of the Quantitative component of the project are to primarily study the quantity and type of food/ration demand and supply through the mandated Public Distribution System and beyond.
The Qualitative dimension of the project aims to study the nature of problems faced by individuals and their communities during an absence of economic activity in the city. Many communities faced a two-fold problem: lack of income to sustain a healthy livelihood and lack of relief from the system. This problem is further amplified when they faced discrimination based on their identity, domicile and the location of their housing in the city. We are attempting to understand these factors through two methods: survey and interviews. The questions of identity explore factors such as gender, caste, religion but also note the location of the wards.
With a sample size of approximately 8,000 participants, we are aiming to conduct primary data collection through surveys, and the official data received from the Planning Department of the MCGM. For secondary data collection, we will be using MCGM data, Development plan allocations and Census data provided to us with the support of governmental organizations. These data sets will be gradually expanded to include additional primary data to the extent possible through the POC networks.
The Hunger Map Project is an evidence-based exercise conducted under the guidance of academic experts and practicing researchers. It adopts multiple tools to collect and analyse data while complying to ethical standards. We do not collect data which has a potential to breach an individual's privacy. The research team has access to this data which is utilized only for research purposes.
While the lockdown and social distancing norms have decreased in the scope of data collection across the board, Khaana Chahiye team members who comprise of people delivering food, kitchen collaborators, and coordinators have been on the ground since March 24th, 2020 (Official start date of the nation-wide lockdown in India). This is not only to facilitate food distribution but also foster engagement with the administration as part of the Disaster Response Mechanism. For this reason, Khaana Chahiye has the resources to access accurate data for analyses and policy intervention in a post-COVID-19 world.
Khaana Chahiye Foundation has assembled a group of independent researchers who are developing relevant facets of this study such as food security, nutrition, public health and the use of technology in mitigating this crisis. They belong to institutions such as the University of Mumbai, Shiv Nadar University, New York University, Cambridge University, Parson’s New School of Design – New York, and IIT Bombay.
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