Supreme Court to study plea for food for all

News: The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a plea urging the court to direct the Chief Secretaries across the country to formulate schemes for the implementation of community kitchens to combat starvation deaths.

Facts:

  • The petition highlighted the success of various state-funded community kitchensaddressing the problem of hunger and malnutrition across India. Example: Amma Unavagam (Tamil Nadu), Annapurna Rasoi (Rajasthan), Indira Canteens (Karnataka), Ahaar Centre (Odisha) etc.
  • The plea also stated that Right to Food is inherent to a life with dignity, and Article 21of the Constitution of India which guarantees a fundamental right to life and personal liberty.
  • Further, Article 47 (one of the Directive Principles) states that it is the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living of its people as a primary responsibility

Status of hunger in India:

  • The Global Hunger Index (2018) ranks India 103rd out of 119 countries. India was ranked below many neighbouring countries, including China (25), Nepal (72), Myanmar (68), Sri Lanka (67) and Bangladesh (86).
  • According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report, India is home to 190.7 million undernourished people- a 14.5% prevalence of hunger vis-à-vis the country’s total population.
  • According to NHFS Report (2017), 19 crore people in India are compelled to sleep on an empty stomach every night. Over three lakh children die every year owing to hunger and malnutrition.
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