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24th July, 2008Right to Food1 RIGHT TO FOOD Fr. James Mascarenhas,S.J.

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Presentation on theme: "24th July, 2008Right to Food1 RIGHT TO FOOD Fr. James Mascarenhas,S.J."— Presentation transcript:

1 24th July, 2008Right to Food1 RIGHT TO FOOD Fr. James Mascarenhas,S.J.

2 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 2 Some Startling Facts India is a very fast developing country, true But the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing enormously.

3 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 3 Some Startling Facts Majority of people – 60% - those producing food have been left out of India’s fast development. While National Growth = 9% ?? Agricultural Growth has been only 3.5 %.

4 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 4 Some Startling Facts The Government claims that only 26% people are below the poverty line The actual fat is that MANY MORE people are below the poverty line. Per capita income in the cities is Rs. 17.00 per day Per capita in rural areas is Rs. 12.00 per day This is not Poverty but starvation line.

5 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 5 Some Startling Facts Very Recently the UNO has said 63% children of India go to bed hungry without food!!!

6 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 6 Some Startling Facts Many of our Children in our rural boardings come from this strata….. they get rather thin when they go to their home in the May vacation.

7 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 7 Some Startling Facts In 2001, we had 66 million tonnes of buffer stocks in our godowns. If you stack one sack over the other, you could go to the moon and come back. Remember 2001 was a severe drought year.

8 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 8 Some Startling Facts Today India is exporting a lot of rice and wheat, while many people in the country do not have enough to eat.

9 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 9 Some Startling Facts.... We have been informed recently by our newspapers that Ten Lakh tonnes of damaged foodgrains have got damaged in our FCI godowns during the past decade.

10 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 10 Summary: Briefly, the situation in India can be termed as hunger amidst plenty.

11 24th July, 2008Right to Food11 Do we have a Right to Food?

12 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 12 Right to Food – Legal Foundations There is a very strong foundation for our Right to Food 1.The International Covenants 2.Constitution and Laws of several countries 3.Constitution and Supreme Court Judgements

13 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 13 Right to Food – Legal Foundations The International Covenants on Economic and Social Rights Article 11.2 recognizes the fundamental right of each individual to be free from hunger and malnutrition Article 11.1 recognizes the right to an adequate level of life regarding food, clothing and lodging.

14 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 14 Right to Food – Legal Foundations By ratifying these legal instruments they are now accepted in India as Rights by the courts. And so, India has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill these rights. (= to facilitate and as a last resort to provide for the progressive realization of these rights)

15 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 15 Right to Food – Legal Foundations The Right to Food is also recognized in the Constitutions of many countries like the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, several European and Communists countries. In south Africa the Right to Food is not only enshrined in the Constitution, but the statutory South African Human Rights Commission is mandated to monitor the implementation of this Right. In Switzerland the Right to minimum conditions of sustenance of even those without citizenship or visitors permits is recognized.

16 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 16 Right to Food – Legal Foundations In the Indian Constitution we have the Right to Life which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as the Right to live with human dignity. Life is biologically impossible without food and regular nutrition, hence The Right to Food is recognized as a Fundament Right by implication.

17 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 17 Right to Food – Legal Foundations Judicial Intervention has strengthened the realization of this Right to Food. The most significant judicial intervention was in the Civil writ petition, PUCL v/s Union of India and states, No. 196 of 2001 Where the basic Right to Food was emphatically affirmed.

18 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 18 What is the Right to Food? The Right to Food starts with the understanding that, a.The starting point and focus of the Right to Food is the individual and the next higher unit is the household b.Individuals are seeing themselves as capable of providing their own food needs given an enabling environment to exercise their agency and freedom.

19 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 19 What is the Right to Food? c.To enable this the State has the duty to 1.To respect 2.To protect 3.To fulfill the Right to Food entitlements of individuals

20 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 20 What is the Right to Food? Briefly, the Right to Food implies Access to 1.Sufficient 2.Safe 3.Nutritious Food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Access to Food also (primarily) implies access to productive resources.

21 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 21 Right to Food But far from fulfilling the Right to Food of individuals, the State often militates actively against the access to these Rights by 1.Displacement – depriving them of what they had since ages, the means to secure livelihood and food. 2.By Land Alienation 3.By Failure to implement Land Reforms 4.By Promoting mechanisms of Agriculture and Labour displacing technologies 5.Illegalizing the criminalizing migration to cities and self help efforts of migrants to secure their own shelter and livelhood.

22 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 22 Failure of the State The State thus fails in its duty to protect the Right to Food, we must in the first place fight to protect the citizens Right to Food and Life, because what the Right to Food really calls us to is an element of urgency and a demand for radical change.

23 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 23 Failure of the State Since the State has failed even in the fulfillment of the Right to Food of citizens by not implementing basic food schemes meant for the poorest, the Supreme Court as an emergency measure has forced the Government through various orders to fulfill the Rights of people.

24 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 24 The PUCL Writ Petition What was shown by the Supreme Court by PUCL was that India has masses of foodgrains more than it can store and even exports subsidized food which is mostly fed to cattle overseas, while millions of its citizens remain chronically hungry.

25 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 25 The PUCL Writ Petition The problem is not of absolute food shortage, but of distribution and poor governance. It is hunger on one side and government on the other, who fails to prevent hunger although it has the means to do so.

26 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 26 The PUCL Writ Petition PUCL demanded that the Right to Food should be recognized as the legal right of every person in the country. Their basic argument was that the Right to Food logically follows from the Right to Life.

27 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 27 The PUCL Writ Petition The Government of India informed the Supreme Court that they are providing food to people, they have nine important food schemes by which they reach food to the poorest.

28 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 28 The Schemes under the Right to Food These nine schemes are: 1.Ration (PDS) - BPL 2.Antodaya 3.Annapurna 4.ICDS 5.Midday Meal 6.Jannani Suraksha Yojna and Maternity Benefit Scheme 7.Family Benefit Scheme 8.Pension Scheme 9.Employment Guarantee Scheme

29 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 29 PUCL Case PUCL proved to the court that these schemes are very poorly implemented.

30 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 30 Supreme Court – Interim Orders Hence, after a proper study of the same the Supreme Court passed a number of interim orders. Some of these orders are really historic ones, they touch the lives of millions of people living in desperate poverty and hunger.

31 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 31 Right to Food Remember, these Food Schemes are clinically managed targeted programmes as a last resort to hunger and nutrition. These are not a cure for problems of food and livelihood insecurities. Right to Food should not reduce people to becoming passive recipients of state benevolents but to transform them to become active agents to pursue and enjoy legal human rights in a dignified way in a just and equitable environment which the state is bound to create.

32 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 32 Supreme Court – Interim Orders The Supreme Court recognizing this basic right through a series of 55 interim orders has held, 1.Both the Union and State Government accountable for securing food securities for vulnerable populations 2.Established monitoring mechanisms among those existent and introduced independent ones.

33 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 33 Who is Accountable? All in India are responsible, since the Supreme Court has passed these orders. Every one has a duty to comply in whatever way he or she can comply. Especially accountable are the 1.The Chief Secretary of the State 2.The Collector and the CEO of the District 3.The Commissioners of the Supreme Court 4.The Advisors of the Commissioners in each State and District 5.The Gram Sabha

34 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 34 Redressal Mechanisms What are the weapons in our hands to implement these orders? 1.Actual orders of the Supreme Court 2.Directions of the Commissioners of the Supreme Court 3.The G.R.s of the State and Union Governments. 4.Laws passed by the Centre and State, like the Food Order or Citizen’s Charter

35 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 35 Redressal Mechanisms... 5.Redressal Mechanisms given by the Supreme Court and the State 6.Complaints that can be made to the CEO, Collector, Chief Secretary 7.Bodies like the RKS (Ration Kruti Samiti) for guidance 8.Justice and Peace Commission of the CBCI, New Delhi 9.Contacts with the Commissioners Office, Advisors Office and District Representatives There is no doubt that We as the Church could play a powerful role in enabling our people to get their Right to Food.

36 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 36 Schemes - Public Distribution System Five Categories of Cards 1.White 2.Red 3.Yellow 4.Antodaya 5.Annapurna Only the Yellow, Antodaya and the Annapurna card holders have a right to this scheme

37 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 37 Yellow and Antodaya Card Holders They should get 35 kilos of grain every month at a fixed rate of Rs. 5 a kilo for wheat and Rs. 6 a kilo for rice. They are also entitled for two litres of kerosene per head, with a maximum of 15 litres per card holder.

38 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 38 Antodaya Scheme This scheme is meant for the poorest of the poor and so rice is sold to them at Rs. 3 a kilo and wheat at Rs. 2 a kilo. These also are entitled to 35 kilos of grain per month.

39 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 39 Annapurna Scheme This Scheme is chiefly meant for the destitute or those who have no support, they are given 10 kilos of grain every month free.

40 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 40 Categories eligible for Antodaya Cards (Supreme Court) 1.Aged, infirm, disabled and destitute men, women, pregnant and lactating women, destitute women 2.Widows and other single women with no other regular support 3.Old persons, aged 60 and above with no regular support and no assured means of sustenance 4.Households with a disabled adult and no assured means of sustenance 5.Households where due to old age lack a physical or mental fitness, social customs, need to care for a disabled or other reasons, no adult member is available to engage in gainful employment outside the house 6.Primitive Tribes

41 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 41 Other Rules regarding Ration 1.Must be lifted by the shopkeeper in the first week of the month 2.Shops should be open everyday, only one weekly off day permitted. 3.Ration can be taken in installments 4.If not taken by the end of the month, it can be taken in the first week of the following month

42 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 42 Other Rules regarding Ration 5.Receipts must be given. 6.Can take as much as one needs 7.The ration shop owner should display important information outside his shop 8.Ration Vigilance Committee under the Presidency of the Sarpanch should meet once every month. 9.A Complaint book should be maintained

43 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 43 Getting Your Rights Rights are not given. Know Your Rights, Take Your Rights Insist on Your Rights – Gandhigiri! Ambedkar Complaint Book Complain to the Tehsildar Complain to the Collector (Lok Shahi Din) Supreme Court, Commissioner etc.

44 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 44 Interim Orders The Supreme Court has also passed orders regarding the cancellation of shops when they do not comply to norms (page 58)

45 24th July, 2008Right to Food45 Integrated Child Development Scheme 1.Supplementary Nutrition according to age 2.Pre-School education 3.Growth Monitoring 4.Health Services  The 19 crore children under 6 yrs of age should get the above services  Anganwadi on demand in slums and tribal settlements.

46 24th July, 2008Right to Food46 Midday Meals

47 24th July, 2008Right to Food47 National Pension Scheme Above 65 Years without support BPL Card Holders

48 24th July, 2008Right to Food48 Jannani Suraksha Yojana and Maternity Benefit Scheme

49 24th July, 2008Right to Food49 Family Benefit Scheme

50 24th July, 2008Right to Food50 Employment Guarantee Scheme

51 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 51 How to prepare New Ration Cards New Ration Cards are not being given easily, but it is import to keep putting pressure on the Tehsildar to issue the same. The Procedure 1.Cancel the previous card and get a Certificate OR 2.Make an Affidavit that you do not have any card 3.In the villages the enquiry is done by the Talathi 4.You also have to produce a proof of residence, for those below 16 years have to produce their birth certificates

52 24th July, 2008 Right to Food - Fr. James Mascarenhas s.j. 52 Problems connected with the PDS 1.Many do not have their BPL cards 2.Many rich people have Antodaya Cards 3.Lot of corruption among Ration shop owners / dealers 4.Corruption among officials

53 24th July, 2008Right to Food53 Comments and Questions! Thank You

54 24th July, 2008Right to Food54 Contact: Fr. James Mascarenhas Mobile:09422485455 Email: jamesm.shirpur@gmail.com james.mascarenhas@gmail.com


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