- Issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
PIL in Supreme Court for community kitchens in all states to combat hunger
What to study?
For Prelims and mains: What are community kitchens, their significance and the need?
Context: A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to all states and union territories (UTs) to formulate a scheme for community kitchens to combat hunger and malnutrition.
What does the PIL seek?
Many children under the age of five die every day due to hunger and malnutrition and this condition was violative of various fundamental rights, including the right to food and life of citizens.
Therefore, it is necessary to create a national food grid for people falling outside the purview of the public distribution scheme.
Various schemes to combat hunger, malnutrition and the resulting starvation are in place. But, in reality, effective implementation of the schemes was unclear and fairly limited.
In the interest of justice and for entitlement of nutritious food, which has been held as a basic fundamental and human right, in both national and international law, alike, the establishment of community kitchens may be directed as an added mechanism for provision of nutritious food with the intent of holistically combating eradication of hunger, malnutrition and starvation in the country, and diseases, illnesses and deaths resulting thereof.
There are various state-funded community kitchens being run in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Jharkhand and Delhi that serve meals at subsidised rates in hygienic conditions.
Then, there are the concepts of soup kitchen, meal centre, food kitchen or community kitchen, in other countries, where food is offered to the hungry usually for free or sometimes at a below-market price.
- Food and Agriculture Report, 2018 stated that India houses 195.9 million of the 821 million undernourished people in the world, accounting for approximately 24% of the world’s hungry.
- Prevalence of undernourishment in India is 14.8%, higher than both the global and Asian average.
- The most alarming figure revealed is that approximately 4500 children die every day under the age of five years in our country resulting from hunger and malnutrition, amounting to over three lakh deaths every year owing to hunger, of children alone.
Sources: the Hindu.