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Food is essential for living as air is for breathing but food security means more than just two square meals. In the 1970s, food security was understood as the availability at all times of adequate supply of basic foodstuffs (UN, 1975). Amartya Sen added a new dimension to food security and emphasised the access to food through what he called entitlements a combination of what one can produce, exchange in the market alongwith state or other socially provided supplies. Accordingly, there has been a substantialshift in the understanding of food security.The more comprehensive concept of food security was captured in the definition presented at World Food Summit in 1996: Food security exists when people, at all times have physical, social and economic access sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. FAO identifies four main elements of food security Food availability-The availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quantity, supplied through domestic production or inputs including food aid. Food Access-Access by individuals to adequate resources-entitlements-for acquiring nutritious diet. Utilization- Utilization of food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well being where all physiological need is met. Stability- To be food secure, a population, household or individual must have access to adequate food at all times. They should not risk losing access as a consequence of sudden shocks. Stability is thus needed in both availability and access.
Food security in India is an issue of immense importance where more than one fourth of the population is estimated to be poor and one half of all children, malnourished in one way or another. Food security in India can be dated back to the famine of Bengal in 1943. Since then India has been aiming self sufficiencyin food. To achieve it, the Green Revolution was introduced in india in 1968. The green revolution had three elements. 1. Continual expansion of farming areas 2. Doubling the output of crops on existing lands 3. Making the use of genetically used seeds. Statistical results
India has become self-sufficient in food grains during the last thirty years because of a variety of crops grown all over the country. Food for work progroammes have also helped the poor to increase their purchasing power. Back draws of the PDS 1. Starvation deaths are also reported in Baran district of Rajasthan. all is not well with the food security policy particularly with reference to the PDS. PDS could not function efficiently. Integrated child development services(1975) 3. in spite of achieving self sufficiency in food grain production the main reasons for food insecurity in india were due to the inefficiency of the food distribution system lack of government initiative to successfully implement the food programmes abject poverty in several parts of india that limited economic access to food. Due to urban bias and lack of transparency and accountability. People s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) filed a writ petition on the right to food in the Supreme Court. food does not reach to the poor. But the main reasons for food insecurity arose because of an inefficient distribution system and lack of government vigilance. Inefficiency of the entire bureaucracy of food i. 2. Food-for-Work(1977-78) Among these PDS is an important constituent of the strategy for poverty eradication and is intended to serve as a safety net for the poor whose number is more than 33 Crores and are nutritionally at risk. three important food intervention programmes were introduced in the 1970s: 1. 3. This petition was filed at a time when the country s food stocks reached . Since independence the overall food production has increased from 50 million tones in 195051 to209 million tones in 1999-2000.However.e. Public distribution system 2. Palamau district of Jharkhand and many other remote areas. Rising food demand due to an ever growing population y y y y Some areas that suffurred are places like Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa where famine-like conditions have been existing for many years and where some starvation deaths have also been reported. Due to poor targeting the system that was being misused by all irrespective of the standard of living. Thus. The level of procurement and reach of the PDS have increased considerably over time. In the wake of high incidence of poverty levels. Right To Food Case In April 2001.
the case was extended to the larger issues of chronic hunger and undernutrition. and six State Governments. in the context of inadequate drought relief. the Food Corporation of India (FCI). the public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by the PUCL petition is known as the right to food case . . and all the State Governments were added to the list of respondents .unprecedented levels while hunger in drought-affected areas intensified. As mentioned earlier. Subsequently. Initially the case was brought against the Government of India.