January 08, 2013

Food: A matter of Justice

NAMHHR works in solidarity with the demands of the Right to Food (RTF) Campaign, for not only food security for all women but also on maternal nutrition and maternity benefits. 

A major Dharna on the National Food Security Act was organized by the RTF Campaign from 13th-15th Dec 2012 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. Hundreds of women, men and children assembled at Jantar Mantar for three days (on 13-15 Dec), from 11 different states, to reassert demands for a comprehensive National Food Security Act. People from various human rights groups, worker’s organizations, women's organizations and progressive political parties supported the Dharna. NAMHHR members, SAHAYOG and Action India also participated actively in the Dharna. 

The three day dharna covered several issues over the three days such as hardships of poor households excluded from the PDS and opposition to cash transfers women’s and children’s right to food, and ended with a strong demand for the comprehensive Food Security Bill that could ensure universal provision of balanced nutrition and adequate diet for all especially the poor and vulnerable. 

Issues related to women including undernutrition, pregnancy and lactation, maternal entitlements, lack of adequate support for child care, issues of single women. Issues of minimum wage, employment (including NREGA), agriculture, homelessness, migrant workers were discussed. 

Jashodhara (representing NAMHHR) spoke on maternal nutrition and the need for universal unconditional Maternity Entitlements. She called upon the men and women present to ensure that equal rights to food began from the household, so that women were able to eat together with men and children, and eat as much as could be shared in the family. Jashodhara also pointed out that maternity was a time of greater expenses and lowered incomes in poor households, therefore the government must ensure universal maternity benefits without any preconditions to all women, regardless of how many children they had. 

January 06, 2013

National Convention on Union Budget 2013-14

A National Convention on Union Budget 2013-14 was organised by People’s Budget Initiative, (whose Secretariat is with CBGA) on December 5 and 6, 2012 in New Delhi.

People’s Budget Initiative (PBI) is a coalition of civil society organisations from across the country which works towards seeking space for people’s voices in the budget making process in India. PBI has been organising National Conventions on Union Budget every year since 2006, in which representatives of civil society organisations from across the country articulate their expectations from the forthcoming Union Budget. Since last year, this effort has been strengthened with the additional process of Regional Conventions on the Union Budget across five regions in the country, i.e. north and central, south, east, west and north east.

The expectations and demands shared in these Conventions are subsequently presented as a Charter of Demands which is shared with the Union Ministry of Finance,Union Ministries that deal with social sectors and disadvantaged sections of population and a number of other key stakeholders. NAMHHR drafted recommendations for the health section drawn from the NAMHHR study findings of the IGMSY scheme.

Ms. Aditi Sood attended the convention on behalf of NAMHHR.

National Consultation - From the Field to the Judge's Bench

NAMHHR member, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) organized a two day national consultation, "From the Field to the Judge's Bench: Developing Litigation Strategies to Improve the Lives of Women," in Delhi on November 24 - 25, 2012. 

The consultation focused on Reproductive Rights and the law in India. The consultation was organized to understand and explore areas for new litigation across a broad spectrum of reproductive rights issues.The consultation helped participants to learn how to use the litigation to promote issues including bringing comprehensive sexual health education into the classroom, ensuring people's access to contraception, and securing the implementation of national entitlement schemes. 

NAMHHR member, Ms.Jashodhara Dasgupta was on a panel and spoke on the issue of accountability in health. Members of Secretariat Ms.YK Sandhya and Ms. Aditi Sood also attended the consultation.

Please find below the presentation made at the consultation on how to file a PIL and use litigation as a means of advocating for your cause.