There is no doubt that digitization of the economy and the use of Internet has improved our lifestyle. But can we really digitize hunger? Is it a mere digital datum that India ranks 100 among 119 countries in the global hunger index 2017? Can we really download it in our realization? Can we feel the pain of being forced to go to bed on an empty stomach everyday?
No, simply we cannot. We have at the most experienced hunger only occasionally when observing a religious fast or for the sake of dieting. Not only are these occasional experiences but voluntary as well. It is difficult for us to empathize with the pain of a mother who fails to provide food for her hungry child. We can never digitize the pain of helpless parents who are forced to hear the cry of their hungry children everyday.
Now, let us have a trip down memory lane to September 28, this year, at Karimati village of Jharkhand’s Simdega district. We see that the parents of a 11-year-old girl, Santoshi Kumari, could not get their ration cards digitally linked with their Aadhaar cards. As a result, they have been denied ration. With no school midday meal available during Durga puja holidays, she has been starving for eight days. Do not forget that this day is the Mahastami day of Durga Puja. And on this day, Santoshi Kumari has to die. She is crying for rice and begins fainting from hunger. Now, it is 10.30 pm. It is all over. She is no more.