A few weeks back I was reading about the work of Nobel Laureate Mr. Abhijeet Banerjee in an Indian daily. I was intrigued by his research on reviving development economics, especially through randomized control trials that break questions about policy interventions into smaller, easier to test studies. Having interacted and engaged with the underprivileged section of our society, I always felt the need to do something for their welfare and upliftment. Mr. Banerjee’s work acted like cement, further strengthening my aspiration to eradicate hunger and poverty from the world.
It is very disheartening that even in the 21st century, we have not been able to eradicate hunger and poverty. Despite umpteen numbers of programs being run by various government bodies and NGOs, more than 800 million people struggle to get adequate food. I am not undermining the role of these government bodies and NGOs. But despite these efforts, the global prevalence of undernourishment has risen during the last few years (World Bank, link), primarily because of the rising population. Today there are 821.6 million chronically undernourished people, out of which 513 million are in Asia while Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 239 million undernourished people (source:Thp). This data further strengthened my conclusion that something different needs to be done to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty completely from the planet.
It’s time we stop to reflect and analyze what is lacking in our efforts to free mankind from the dreaded clutches of hunger and poverty. Inability of the governments, United Nation and various NGOs etc to tackle hunger & poverty effectively has been the trigger point for my work. This is a simple to understand problem and therefore its solution must also be fairly simple.
I find that one of the key reasons for the inadequacy of our efforts is the lack of involvement of mass participation in eradicating hunger and poverty. People are skeptical of contributing to this cause because they are not sure whether their contributions are being put to good use. News of NGOs siphoning money makes matters worse. We must instill confidence in people that their contribution towards this noble cause will have a significant impact on the lives of underprivileged people. One way of doing this is by ensuring better mapping and coordination. Let people choose their cause, contribute towards it and monitor the real-time outcomes (micro as well as macro) of their contributions.
- Over the next 10 years, ensure global participation of every person wanting to donate smallest amount of money per month.
- Offer the choice, via a clickable world map, to go to a village or such small unit level and see various schemes for hunger and poverty alleviation and choose an organization and a cause that you wish to support.
- The donor will be able to see his money at work and feel the measurable impact. Donor could be individual, a corporate, NGO, UN or the government.
- Governments, UN, NGOs, other organizations can feed the data and can monitor progress of their projects and track the goal live.
I have developed screen shots of my solution. Thanks to my friend Mr. Utkarsh Agarwal, who has helped me design the screen shots. Post my Class XII exams, scheduled to end on March 23, 2020, I will engage with professors working in this field to further refine my solution for alleviating mankind from hunger and poverty.