Amid the COVID-19 crisis, half of the population surveyed in rural India was found to be eating fewer items and less number of times, reported The Times of India, citing a survey conducted across 12 states to understand the impact of coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
In the survey conducted in over 5,000 rural households, 68 percent of the population said they had reduced food items in their meals, 50 percent said they had reduced the number of times they were eating in a day and 24 percent of them had borrowed food grain, the report stated.
As the income has been affected, nearly 22 percent of the households have borrowed money from extended family and 16 percent from money lenders. Besides, 22 percent arranged for money by selling livestock while 14 percent mortgaged household items, said the report citing survey results.
The survey further asked the households surveyed whether they get ration through public distribution system. On this, 84 percent said they got ration through PDS, while one-sixth still remain deprived, said the report.
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The study, named “COVID-19 induced Lockdown – How is the Hinterland Coping?” covered 5,162 households across 47 districts in 12 states between April 28 and May 2. The states included in the survey were Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The survey was jointly conducted by PRADAN, Action for Social Advancement, BAIF, Transform Rural India Foundation, Grameen Sahara, SAATHI-UP and The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) with research support of Vikas Anvesh Foundation and Sambodhi.
The study focused on PDS and investments by the Centre and state governments in the forthcoming Kharif crop season. According to its results, more than one-third of the households surveyed said they did not have any surplus from the last Kharif crop while nearly one-third said their Kharif stock would last only till May-end.
The study further revealed that more than one-third of the respondents did not have seeds for the upcoming Kharif season and nearly half expected to get crop loans, said the report.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.