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. 


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