The Right to Food in India

The Food Security Scenario in South Asia
Country Food Production Food Exports Food Imports Food Balance

Bangladesh India Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka

26,924 1,74,655 5,839 24,936 1,938

1.6 9,490 11 2,966 9.8

2,827 56 39 288 1,307

-4,601 23,826 57 3,818 252

Source: FAO, 2004. Figures in thousand metric tones for 2002

.

000 live births) Infant mortality rate Under-five mortality rate 56 77 62 85 59 76 80 101 12 14 48 43 13 46 46 16 48 51 10 38 37 13 29 14 14 .Some Indicators for Child Wellbeing and malnutrition in South Asia Bangladesh Immunization (% of children under 3 years who have not received the stated vaccine) BCG DTP3 MCV Pol3 India Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka 5 15 23 15 27 36 44 30 15 20 27 20 20 35 33 35 1 3 4 3 Child undernutrition (% of children with the stated condition) Underweight Stunting Wasting Infant and child mortality (per 1.

India’s Annual Growth Rate Year 1951-79 1980-91 1992-06 GDP 3.6 5.5 Per capita income 1.6 6.7 .3 3.5 4.

Population. GDP and Foodgrain Production 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2006 Population GDP Foodgrain Production .

1 .1 4.0 7.1996.2003.1 6.6 4.5 5.5 8.4 8.5 7.2002.2001.200593 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 6.4 annual increase 5.3 7.1993.2000.5 6.1998.1999.2004.2 7.Growth of GDP in India 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1992.1997.1994.4 5.1995.

and falling food availability • Unemployment has increased from 4 to 8% in ten years • Regional disparities are increasing • IMR stagnating around 60 per 1000. it is 46 in Bangladesh • Immunisation coverage fell from 60 to 40% in 5 yrs • More than 50% women are anemic • 46% children are malnourished • Declining child sex ratio during 1991-2001 • There is no will to improve administration in poor states Worrying issues .• News of starvation deaths & farmers’ suicides from many states • Stagnant agricultural production.

4% annual rate 1990-91 1996-97 2004-05 148 2.Index number of Agricultural Production Index of growth 1981-82 100 4.8% 176 0.2% 179 .

6 1999-00 209.4 1997-98 192.Foodgrain Production (million tonnes) 215 205 195 185 175 165 Series1 1996-97 199.2 2003-04 210.8 2000-01 196.8 .8 2001-02 211.9 2002-03 174.3 1998-99 203.

385 2003-04 10.Foodgrain exports in million tonnes 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Total exports 2001-02 4.308 2004-05 0.685 2002-03 12.131 .753 Total 28.

% of Work Force dependent on Agriculture .

Poverty Percentage below 56 39 35 poverty line 1973 1987 1994 1999 2004 26? 28 .

number of poor people in millions 350 53 65 70 67 78 Urban Rural 247 239 234 201 236 0 1971 1981 1991 2001 2006 .

0 48.0 38.8 45.1 68.3 34.9 .4 23.7 28.2 10.0 48.Social groups 1993-94 Percentage Share in Total Rural Below Population Poverty Line 1999-2000 Percentage Share in Total Rural Below Population Poverty Line Scheduled tribes Scheduled castes Others All households 10.5 20.1 100.2 28.1 100.8 21.4 69.

There has been a declining calorie consumption especially in the bottom 30% of the population. .There should be no food insecurity in India Both GDP and foodgrain production have risen faster than the growth in population over the last 50 years And yet chronic hunger and starvation persist in large sections of the population.

Net availability of foodgrains per capita per day in gms 500 480 460 440 420 400 1951 1956 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 .

2002 .Source: Report of Committee on Long Term Grain Policy.

.

India has the largest food schemes in the World • Entitlement Feeding Programmes – ICDS (All Children under six. Pregnant and lactating mother) – MDMS (All Primary School children) • Food Subsidy Programmes – Targeted Public Distribution System (35 kgs/ month of subsidised food grains – Annapurna (10 kgs of free food grain for destitute poor) • Employment Programmes – National Rural Employment Scheme (100 days of employment at minimum wages) • Social Safety Net Programmes – National Old Age Pension Scheme (Monthly pension to BPL) – National Family Benefit Scheme (Compensation in case of death of bread winner to BPL families) .

more than 500 affidavits. nearly 70 Interim Applications .The Right to Food Case • PUCL petition on hunger in Rajasthan in the Supreme Court in 2001 • Emergence of the Right to Food Campaign • Key Issues: – – – – Making the Right to Food a Fundamental Right Converting all existing schemes into entitlements Tackling large scale malnutrition and chronic hunger Securing employment as a fundamental right linked to the Right to Food • Longest continuing mandamus on the Right to Food in the World – 51 Interim Orders so far.

Highlights of Supreme Court Orders on the Right to Food • Converted all food and employment schemes into legal entitlements • Universalised food entitlement programmes for children (ICDS for children under six and Mid Day Meal Scheme for all primary school children) • Instituted the independent mechanism of Commissioners to the Supreme Court to monitor all food and employment programmes • Prevented the reduction of the “poverty line” from 36% to 26% • Hauled up Government periodically by serving notice of contempt of court on senior most Government functionaries (Chief Secretaries) .

Annapurna Yojana – Social Security Programmes • Pensions (NOAPS. NFBS) .Office of the Commissioners to the Supreme Court (Writ 196/ 2001) • Appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor all food schemes in the Country • Mandate extends to: – Entitlement Feeding Programmes • MDMS. RSVY – Food Subsidy Programme • TPDS. SGRY I & II. Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). NFFWP. ICDS – Employment Programmes • NREGS. NMBS.

How does the Office of the Commissioners function? • Honorary positions. work supported by funds mandated by the Supreme Court • Works through a secretariat (Delhi) and a network of Advisers across India • Make policy recommendations through: – Rigorous participatory research – Articulating alternative demands of State policy – Participating in policy bodies such as Planning Commission Steering Groups .

How does the Office of the Commissioners function? (cont’d.) • Monitors programmes – Through analysis of macro-data – Addressing complaints at the micro-level • Holds the State accountable by: – Regular engagement with the GoI and State Governments – Joint Commission of Enquiries – Regular reports on non-compliance to the Supreme Court .

Impact so far • Universalisation of MDMS (120 million children get school meals) and ICDS (Government would need to double the ICDS centres to 1.4 million centres covering 60 million children under the age of six) • Managed to restrict the lowering of BPL quotas by GoI from 36% to 26% • Increase in off-take of subsidised food-grains through the targeted public distribution system • Increased budgetary allocation for ICDS. Old Age Pensions (3 times the amount) • Passage of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which guarantees 100 days of employment a year (at minimum wages) .

) • Provided Civil Society an anchor to engage/ confront the State and created spaces for civil society to engage in food/ employment programmes • Brought the discourse on food rights to the centre-stage of governance in the States and GoI • Has been largely effective in provision of gratuitous relief (Tea Garden Workers in West Bengal). • Created the environment for the passage of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act .Impact so far (cont’d.

7% 64.2% 2004-05 Source: Various issues of Monthly food grain bulletin.9% 73.1: Percentage off-take of BPL/AAY food grains from 2001-02 to 2004-05 100 90 Percentage offtake 80 70 60 50 40 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 81. Department of food and public distribution. GoI .2% 59.Off-take of BPL/ AAY Food Grains • Figure 3.

Some Challenges that we face • Attempting reforms in an era of overall weakening governance and state commitment to social sectors • Has powers (including filing contempt charges against Chief Secretaries) which are best used by not being exercised • Operates in the domain of judicial activism • Challenge of individual redressal versus systemic policy engagement • Has proved to be marginally effective in harder areas of governance reforms .

90.70.. 84.08147.431743990$9.03144/.099403.90/85.. .3/.

84341 7.0414.90/9003.3.943.2208 W 74:990/8.88.0390$9..  W 70.908.03574.02542039 5747.2542039:.3/ 4 W .04190 .073.700110.#:7.3900.4:78043144/7989490 .7.8-003.9:94:87001 %0.9.9 .7432039147905.7/03470783089 03.03970 89.

11 9.041!.

44/7.039.38 W :70 !07.041!.0411 9.

/897-:943 4 .74:888:0841439144/7.3-:093 05.144/7.79203941144/.04119.381742  94     !07.0'.0                          $4:7.3/5:-.039.

80/ W 507.03.030413/.0.078:8 88902.:/313.8414.708 .0110.9... 0.908390/42.54.414.07014728 .709.4390259..80.4229203994 84.0 W 990259370147283..9478 W ..0334./:.3.9.73.$420.70.073.90.70/7088...03..0/94-02.073.0308 9.708 ..7/07 .901.3.82 W .70-089:80/ -349-03007.8574.02039 W .854078 3.307.38901$0.341:/.3/89.07.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful