Journal of Food Security
ISSN (Print): 2372-0115 ISSN (Online): 2372-0107 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jfs Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
Journal of Food Security. 2015, 3(1), 6-10
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-3-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Coping Strategies Adopted by Households to Prevent Food Insecurity in Urban Slums of Delhi, India

Palak Gupta1, , Kalyani Singh1, Veenu Seth1, Sidharth Agarwal2 and Pulkit Mathur1

1Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

2Urban Health Resource Center, New Delhi, India

Pub. Date: February 13, 2015

Cite this paper:
Palak Gupta, Kalyani Singh, Veenu Seth, Sidharth Agarwal and Pulkit Mathur. Coping Strategies Adopted by Households to Prevent Food Insecurity in Urban Slums of Delhi, India. Journal of Food Security. 2015; 3(1):6-10. doi: 10.12691/jfs-3-1-2

Abstract

Background: The study tried to identify coping strategies adopted by urban slum dwellers to prevent the situation of food insecurity. Methods: A household-based cross-sectional study on a sample of 446 households was conducted. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data on coping strategies along with group discussions. Standard univariate analysis was done using SPSS (version-16). Results: Unique coping strategies were found to be adopted by households. Strategies included relying on less expensive foods like seasonal or locally available vegetables, limiting portion size of meals and reducing numbers of meals eaten in a day. To increase short-term availability of food, households borrowed food or lend money from friends or relatives, bought food on credit from private grocery shops, used reserves, and relied on food aid. Households ate at religious places in an attempt to increase access to food, withdrew children from school to save money on the school fees and also sent children to work. In case of extreme insecurity, migration was observed. Conclusions: Coping strategies used by the households can be seen as an expression of negotiated decisions to minimize the impact of food insecurity in the households. Hence, understanding these food insecurity coping strategies could be a good starting point to develop and formulate community based contextually sensitive interventions to improve household food insecurity.

Keywords:
coping strategies household food insecurity India urban slums

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  United Nations. Nutrition-Relevant Action-Nutrition. Policy Discussion Paper No. 10. Rome, 1991.
 
[2]  Agarwal, S., Sethi, V., Gupta, P.,Jha, M.,Agnihotri, A., Nord, M. Experiential household food insecurity in an urban underserved slum of North India. Journal of Food Security, 1 (3): 239-250. 2009.
 
[3]  Pasricha, S., Vijaykumar, V.,Prashanth, N.S.,Sudarshan, H., Biggs, B.A., Black, J.,Shet, A.A community based field research project investigating anaemia amongst young children living in rural Karnataka, India: a cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 9 (59). 2009.
 
[4]  Medecins Sans Frontieres Foundation, 2008 Food Security Assessment Report. Chiitagong Hill Tracts Sajek Union. Bangladesh, 2008
 
[5]  Gopichandran, V., Claudius,P., Baby, I.S.,Felinda,A., Mohan, V.R. Household food security in urban Tamil Nadu: A survey in Vellore. The National Medical Journal of India, 23 (5): 278-80. 2010.
 
[6]  Radimer, K.L., Olson, C.M.,Greene, J.C., Campbell,C.C., Habicht, J.P. Understanding hunger and developing indicators to assess it in women and children. Journal of Nutrition Education, 24: 36S-45S. 1992.
 
[7]  Mardiharini, M. Family-coping strategies in maintaining welfare during the economic crisis in Indonesia: a case studying rural and urban areas in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 23 (1): 53-70. 2005.
 
[8]  Mishra, S. Household livelihood and coping mechanism during drought among Oraon tribe of Sundargarh district of Orissa. Journal of Social Science, 15 (2), 181-186.2007.
 
[9]  Banik, D. Starvation and India's Democracy. London & New York: Routledge. 2007. Hardback (Paperback edition 2009).
 
[10]  Agarwal, S., Taneja, S. All slums are not equal: child health services among the urban poor. Indian Pediatrics, 42: 233-244.2005.
 
[11]  Norhasmah, S., Zalilah, M.S., Mohd Nasir, M.T., Kandiah, M., & Asnarulkhadi, A.S. A Qualitative Study on coping strategies among women from food insecurity households in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, 16 (1): 39-54. 2010.
 
[12]  Kempson, K., Keenan, D.P., Sadani, P.S., Adler, A. Maintaining food sufficiency: Coping strategies identified by limited-resources individuals versus nutrition educators. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 35: 179-88. 2003.
 
[13]  Dore, A.R., Adair, L.S., Popkin, B.M. Low income Russian families adopt effective behavioral strategies to maintain dietary stability in times of economic crisis. Journal of Nutrition, 133: 3469-75. 2003.
 
[14]  Corbett, J. Famine and household coping strategies. World Development, 16: 1099-112.1988.
 
[15]  Kabeer, N. Women, household food security and coping strategies. Institute of Development Studies. Nutrition Policy Discussion Paper (UN/ACC) No. 6. Geneva, Switzerland, 1990.
 
[16]  Shariff, Z.M., Khor, G.L. Household food insecurity and coping strategies in a poor rural community in Malaysia. Nutrition Research and Practice, 2 (1): 26-34. 2008.
 
[17]  Studdert, L.J., Frongillo, E.A., Valois, P. Household food insecurity was prevalent in Java during Indonesia’s economic crisis. Journal of Nutrition, 131: 2685-91. 2001.
 
[18]  Agbola, P.O. Analysis of food insecurity coping strategies among farming households in Osun area of southwestern Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences, 6 (2). 2008.
 
[19]  Oxfam International and Save the Children. Rising food prices in the Sahel: The urgency of long-term action, Briefing Note. Oxfam International and Save the Children. Africa, 2008.
 
[20]  FAO, United Nations. The state of food insecurity in the world. High food prices and food security-threats and opportunities. Rome, 2008.
 
[21]  Castaneda, C.Q., Bacos, F.F., Zarate, R.U., Galang, M.R., Molano, W.L. Coping behavior towards food security of households in marginalized Philippine communities. Food and Research Institute. Science and Technology Project: Poster Presentation. Republic of Philippines, 2000. Available at http://wwwl.fnri.dost.gov.ph/posters/streetfood.pdf (accessed on 21 April 2013).
 
[22]  Swamy, V., Tulasimala, B.K. Impact of Self Help Groups on the Food Security and Non-Food Consumption of Weaker Sections of the Society. Social Science Electronic Publishing. 2012. Available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2136125 (accessed on 22 April 2013).