Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday held up the Global Hunger Index report to say that there was a “colossal failure” in the Centre’s policies. India’s rank in this year’s Global Hunger Index dropped to 102, which is considered to be in the “serious” category. The index, which calculates the hunger levels and malnutrition across the world, had ranked the country at 95 in 2010.

“India’s Global Hunger Index ranking, falling steadily since 2014, has now crashed to 102/117,” Gandhi tweeted. “This ranking reveals a colossal failure in Govt policy and blows the lid off the PM’s hollow “sabka vikas” claim, parroted by Modi.”

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal asked the prime minister to concentrate less on politics and more on the children of the country. “They are our future,” he tweeted. “India slips on Global Hunger Index (GHI). 2010: 95th rank. 2019: 102nd rank. 93% of children (6 to 23) months don’t get minimum acceptable diet.”

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the slide started with Modi’s ascension. “In 2014 India was ranked 55,” he said. “In 2017 it slipped to 100 and in now to the levels of Niger and Sierra Leone. The majority of worlds hungry now resides in India.”

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also hit out at the government. “According to 2019 Global Hunger Index, India has slipped to 102 out of 117 countries,” he tweeted. “The report says that India has ‘Serious’ hunger levels & yet many believe ‘Acche Din Aayega’. The question is when? Is it when all, except the Cronies, die of hunger?”

Last year, the government said it was working to achieve the goal of “zero hunger” by 2030.

The Global Hunger Index is an annual report published jointly by Ireland’s Concern Worldwide and Germany’s Welthungerhilfe. It scores countries on a 100-point “severity scale”. This year, India scored 30.3 on the list of 117 countries. India’s score has dropped from 38.9 in 2005 and 32 in 2010, to 30.3 in 2019.

Neighbouring countries like Nepal (73), Sri Lanka (66), Bangladesh (88), Myanmar (69) and Pakistan (94) are also in the “serious” hunger category, but have fared better on the index.

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