Presentation on theme: "Grievance Redressal – Right to Food Dipa Sinha. Right to Food Campaign An informal network of organisations, unions, and individuals working towards Right."— Presentation transcript:
Grievance Redressal – Right to Food Dipa Sinha
Right to Food Campaign An informal network of organisations, unions, and individuals working towards Right to Food for ALL Grassroot level actions by network constituents and co-ordinated action at national and state level on policy-related/legislative issues In this context, giving voice to people’s grievances and trying to find solutions central Developing material (social audit manuals, formats for muster roll verification, primers on government schemes – information key to even raising of grievances) Origins of the campaign in the ‘Right to Food’ case in the Supreme Court
‘Right to Food’ case PIL in Supreme Court by PUCL in 2001 – context of overflowing godowns and drought and starvation deaths A number orders passed – converting schemes in legal ‘entitlements’ Court set up a grievance redressal mechanism as well Commissioners to the Supreme Court A Supreme Court order dated 8 th May 2002 lays out the GR procedure
GR Order empowers Gram Sabha to conduct “social audits” of all food-related schemes; holds the CEO/Collector responsible for ensuring compliance with the Court orders within the District; makes the Chief Secretary accountable for the implementation of Court orders in the state; gives the Commissioners extensive powers to monitor the implementation of Court orders throughout the country; and directs all concerned officials to “fully cooperate” not only with the Commissioners but also with individuals or organisations who have been nominated by the Commissioners to assist them.
The Commissioners’ Office Complains usually received from areas where there is active civil society action and community mobilisation – redressal also effective in such areas In the case of starvation deaths individual cases taken up and reported Non-adversarial – working with governments towards reform When the need arises taking the matter to the Court –e.g. ICDS universalisation where Chief Secretaries were summoned The large network of the campaign works as a feedback mechanism for the Commissioners
GR to Policy Reform… Mechanisms used – field studies, Joint Commissions of Enquiry Soon realised that this mechanism is too centralised to take up individual grievances – so focussed more on design and implementation issues Submitted 12 reports and a number of letters to the Court on various issues Appointed Advisors in most states – they take up individual cases of grievance Maharashtra – a model of district level representatives has been tried
Design vs. Implementation Need to understand system failures that are caused by design issues vis-à-vis local implementation – Redress mechanism would differ accordingly – Commissioners office has taken up both Design examples: delinking entitlements from poverty line, universalisation of MDM and ICDS, decentralisation of SNP Immediate response: Delhi homeless, West Bengal tea gardens, Barwani NREGA wage payments, Release of grains In all effective cases, the intervention by the Court/Commissioners backed by grassroots level action – community mobilisation is the key, rest are all enabling tools
Lesson Learnt Need for a decentralised mechanism up to the village level – Court laid out the roadmap but this has not been implemented Community participation in monitoring is important Need to separate the authority responsible for implementation and the grievance redress authority (independence) Time bound grievance redressal with penalty and compensation mechanisms in-built Most cases we see systemic issues – difficult to pinpoint responsibility – job charts Supreme Court can only be the last port of call, even when it intervenes, it is effective when there is action at the community level.