Welfare state first responsibility to provide food to people dying of hunger: SC

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Recently the Supreme Court (SC) has clarified that it is the responsibility of the public welfare state to provide food to the people suffering from starvation.

  • The first task of a welfare state is to ensure that no one dies of hunger. Emphasizing on this fact, SC has given 3 weeks time to the Central Government to formulate an all India policy on Community Kitchen Scheme.
  • Notably, last month, the SC had directed the central government to come up with a plan to set up an all-India community kitchen after discussions with the state governments.
  • Community kitchens are organizations that provide free meals. Some examples of community kitchens in India are Annapurna Rasoi (Rajasthan), Anna Canteen (Andhra Pradesh) etc.

It has emerged as an important alternative for the following:

  • It ensures food security for those who cannot take care of themselves (eg- elderly, sick, disabled, destitute etc.).
  • People working in urban areas (from rickshaw pullers to delivery boys) can take advantage of cheap and nutritious food.
  • Despite being a food surplus country, India lags behind in solving the issues of hunger and malnutrition.
  • India’s rank in the 2021 Global Hunger Index was reduced from 94 to 101.
  • The National Health Survey (Report for the year 2017) has highlighted the fact that around 19 crore people are forced to go to bed hungry every day.

Initiatives taken by the Government: National Food Security Act, 2013, Poshan Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme etc.

Source – The Hindu

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