Right to Food

When every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for the procurement of food, that’s when the Right to food is realized. Everyone in this world has a right to a standard of living which is adequate food for himself and of his family. The right to adequate food as a human right was first formally recognized by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) from 1948, as a part of the right to a decent standard of living.

The primary responsibility for guaranteeing adequate food lies with the state and every individual has the right to be free from hunger. So many years after independence, the situation remains critical and has not been impacted due to the economic growth of the nation. What’s most astonishing that the social development sector lags behind than that of Sub-Saharan Africa. The government is trying to push the Food Security Bill through ordinance and it seems that every grain has vote inscripted on them. India has been pushing for greater efforts to arrest hunger and malnutrition in the country which is both affordable for the government and beneficial for long term sustainability of the Indian economy. However, it can be rightfully assumed that India cannot go on to become super power by the end of 21st century with a hungry and malnourished population.

Economists go on to say these schemes like MNREGA, Right to food are making this country unambitious and these kind of schemes make people unproductive since people will not develop their skills to earn a living in the market. One more concern is the fact India has a history of inefficient way of implementing food related schemes that there is no guarantee this will help improve the prevailing scenario. Government has to try and make the economy grow and also ensure fewer people remain poor. But the social inequality won’t come down with short term solutions rather needs long term economic models. There are needy people in the country but we can’t continue giving money or resources in perpetuity.

Right to Food Act of the Union government of India incorporates the physical, economic and social right of all the citizens of this nation to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with an adequate diet necessary for leading a life actively and with proper health by providing them with cereals at a modest cost each month. However, the recent news of 22 children dying because of poisonous Mid-day meal in Chappra, Bihar raises concerns about efficient implementation of this Act. There is an imbalance between this great vision and narrow means it seeks to achieve it in practice. For instance the main focus of this Act is on calories from foodgrains and on direct distribution rather than providing substantial provisions of means for commanding food and on complementary policies. The Act doesn’t clear that it’s truly right based as an individual may make binding demand for the satisfaction of the right.

It can be justified that all these acts like MNREGA, Right to Food; can be said successful when their demand goes down and nobody wants a MNREGA job as they have better paying jobs. Similarly in the case of Right to Food when people have adequate and quality food available to themselves and they don’t want any help from the government, but maybe that’s a long way ahead.

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Right To Food

Right To Food

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4 thoughts on “Right to Food

  1. Anand Kumar says:

    According to the SAARC Development goals ” India country report 2013 ”
    Minimum per capita daily requirement of dietary energy for healthy livings is 2400 kcal in rural areas and 2100 kcal in urban areas.The proportion of population that has dietary energy consumption below 2100/2400 kcal in India tends to rise steadily since 1993 – 94.
    ” Of 850 million people without adequate nutrition, 237 million live in India—slightly more than one in four ”
    India has made headway in reducing poverty and giving access to drinking water for much of its population, but has lagged behind in improving sanitation, food security, maternal mortality and gender equity standards, putting it at risk of missing key targets….

    The history and the mystery still continues….!!!

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  2. iffat anjum says:

    it has been 65 years, since 1948 the UN formally first recognized in (universal declaration of human rights)UDHR right to food as a part of descent standard of living. But we are still behind as adequate food is not provided in terms of calorie intake, quality or nutrient diet,proper drinking water and accessibility to food. We in our daily life waste food and the answer to the quantity of food we waste can be get from dustbin.There are street dwellers who sleep without having food. We can spend 500 rupees in restaurant having one time food but will not give to the street child who is hungry and asking for money.If on individual basis we take the responsibility of giving one time food to any beggar on regular basis this will contribute a lot towards the society.

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  3. Manjit says:

    The govt. must respect the right to food, protect the right to food, fulfill the right to food of the people who are underfed, meaning they must facilitate and provide access to food. Governments need to take necessary socio-economic and political steps. Govt. are obliged to fulfill the right to food of those, who alone have no chance at all of having an adequate diet.This is imperative both in ordinary situations and in emergencies.The states should also provide redress for violation, refrain from food embargoes and cooperate and help in emergencies and catastrophes to avoid mass deaths from starvation.

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  4. Lipika Singh says:

    What gave a rise to “right to food” in India , was when MNREGA was passed India grew at over 9% for successive years , which led us to ask , that how can a country be among world’s fastest growing economies and yet have hunger and malnutrition levels worse than that of , countries faring much worse in terms of GDP growth

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