Bangalore, India, September 12 2014: In an effort to raise awareness on the extent of malnutrition among children below the age of 5, World Vision India, in association with Youth Ki Awaaz, announced the launch of a blog-a-thon contest on hunger today.
Hunger is an endemic issue across the nation, with India being home toa quarter of the world’s underweight children under the age of 5. To this day, 40% of the population is malnourished – a decrease of only 10% in the last three decades. Every year, around 6.6 million children die of preventable diseases in the world, 60% of which is due to hunger and malnutrition. From stunted children to undernourished farmers who go hungry every night, hunger remains a menace for which a solution is urgently called for.
The one-of-a-kind blog-a-thon launched today aims at stirring up a conversation around hunger by harnessing the power of blogs. Participants can stage a post, a video, an article, a poem, a doodle or even a photo story on the theme of “Hunger is…” They can also use personal narratives of how they have seen hunger around them or build an entirely new story.
“Hunger is a structural issue that needs active attention and we need to refocus the nation on this very intrinsic problem,” said Jayakumar Christian, CEO of World Vision India. “With the blog-a-thon, we hope to use social media, and blogs specifically, to spread awareness among the large number of socially conscious youth in the country. These are highly active, very creative people who are starting to drive the call for change in our country and their participation, be it through fictional accounts or fact-based articles, can help bring hunger back into the spotlight and move our society closer to a better understanding of its causes and possible solutions.”
The blog-a-thon is the latest step taken by World Vision India as part of its 24 Hour Famine, a campaign targeted at addressing issues of hunger and malnutrition that severely impact the lives of children, especially those under the age of 5.
“Untimely deaths, chronic diseases and a massive loss in the nation’s productivity should not be reduced to mere statistics worthy only for repetition in political narratives, but needs to become an integral topic of thought” said Dr Jayakumar. “It is high time we discuss hunger as not just an economic but a social problem, which spreads due to the callous attitude meted out to it. The way to end hunger lies with spreading awareness and campaigns such as the 24 Hour Famine is designed to kick start such conversations and drive home to the nation the fact that for a wide majority of Indians, sleeping after a filling meal is but a dream.”
The World Vision India blog-a-thon on Youth Ki Awaaz is now officially open and will run till 20th September. Participants can submit their entries at http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/hungeris/ . The best blog entry will receive a MOTO E mobile phone as a token of appreciation.
Conducted in 7 cities across the nation – Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Guwahati – the 24 Hour Famine consists of events from art exhibitions to literary and cultural competitions driven by local communities, school children as well as civil and public officials to drive home the message. It hopes to engage the public and youth from ages of 13–30 on the problems faced by children due to malnourishment.
More information on the 24 Hour Famine campaign can be found at http://www.24hourfamine.in/.