1963: FREEDOM FROM HUNGER CAMPAIGN

TYPE:
Campaign
DATE OF ISSUE:
21 March 1963
ISSUED BY:
INdia post
NUMBER OF STAMPS ISSUED:
2.5 Million
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The Freedom From Hunger campaign was launched by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 1960, to mobilize the international community to fight the ongoing challenges of hunger and malnutrition. To maximize visibility for the campaign, the FAO asked every UN member state to issue a stamp with the campaign branding in 1963, the year of the World Food Congress. This resulted in the largest ever joint issue of stamps to date, with 153 countries participating.

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FAO Director General Binay Ranjan Sen (left) with US Senator Bob Dole in 1965.
Copyright: Public Domain

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The campaign, conceived by Binay Ranjan Sen, an Indian civil servant who assumed leadership of the FAO in 1956, resulted in the largest ever joint issue of stamps to date, with 153 countries participating.

Binay Ranjan Sen was the first head of a UN agency from a developing country. His vision was to transform FAO from a data-focused research group into something reformative: a development agency and the Freedom from Hunger campaign was part of that effort.

Sen conceived of the worldwide campaign against hunger and malnutrition, bringing together UN agencies, governments, NGOs, private business and millions of individuals to seek solutions and raise awareness around the issue. The Freedom from Hunger campaign pioneered an integrated approach to development cooperation that is taken for granted today.

India has come a long way since 1945 when it became one of the founding members of FAO as a low-income food-deficient country. Today India is not only self-sufficient in rice and wheat, it also exports a range of food products and at any given time has up to 60 million tonnes of food grain buffer stocks! In this journey of success, FAO has been a staunch partner since 1948, when FAO operations in India first began.

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FAO's expanded nutrition project in Orissa, 1962. Photo: FAO / F.L. Cyprie

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Students of Ludhiana University conducting experiments in wheat field, 1975. Copyright: UN Photo / Jean Pierre Laffont