Government committed to ensuring food and nutrition security of the people in the country : Prof. K.V. Thomas
NEW DELHI, JULY 18. The Minister of State of Consumer Affairs, Food and
Public Distribution, Prof. K. V, Thomas today said the Government was committed to ensuring food and nutrition security of the people in the country, especially the vulnerable sections.
Speaking as a chief Guest at the second day of the two-day launch of the Oxfam India-IDS Food Justice bulletin, the Minister said the Bill was at present under consideration of the Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution. “The Parliamentary Committee has so far held two meetings. We are awaiting the outcome of deliberations by the Standing Committee so that we could take further action to take the Bill forward,” he said.
Pointing out that it was definitely going to be a challenging task to ensure successful implementation of the Bill of such scope and magnitude, the Minister hoped that all the stakeholders would contribute to make this historic initiative of the Government a success. “I welcome suggestions for improvement of food security situation in the country. I assure you that Government is committed to ensure food and nutrition security of the people of the country, especially the vulnerable sections,” he said.
Congratulating Oxfam India and IDS on bringing out such a valuable bulletin, a unique collection of original thoughts by leading commentators and practitioners on crucial subject of food security and connected issues like the right to food and the need for a just food system in India, he said.: “I have no doubt that such a compilation on such an important subject matter as food security will definitely help us understand the issue, as viewed from different angles and perspectives.”.
The Minister said the proposed legislation marks a paradigm shift in addressing the problem of food security – from it being viewed as a welfare approach to a right-based approach. “The Act seeks to address the issue of food security in the country in a holistic manner by adopting a life cycle approach. The Act provides for about two thirds of the population to become entitled to receive subsidized food-grains under Targeted Public Distribution System, with special focus on nutritional support to women and children,” he said.
The two-day workshop organised by Oxfam India, IDS and CLRA was attended by civil society, media and Government representatives, along with agriculture, food security, nutrition and food rights experts.
Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India is a collection of 15 original articles that address key questions including how to protect marginalised people’s rights to food, how to empower women and how to assess government commitments to reducing hunger. It hopes to provide different perspectives to feed into India’s Food Security Bill as it currently progresses through parliament, as well as all related legislation.
About Oxfam India
Oxfam is marking its 61st year in India this year (2102). In 1951, Oxfam Great Britain came to India during the Bihar famine to launch its first full scale humanitarian response in a developing country. Over the past 61 years, Oxfam has supported the growth of many civil society organizations across the length and breadth of the country.
In 2008, all Oxfams came together to form Oxfam India. Oxfam India, a fully independent Indian organization (with Indian staff and an Indian Board) is a member of a global confederation of 17 Oxfams. Oxfam India is now registered as a Company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (bearing corporate identity number U74999DL2004NPL131340).
The Oxfams are rights-based organizations that fight poverty and injustice by linking grassroots programming (through partner NGOs) to local, national and global advocacy and policy-making. All of Oxfam’s work is framed by our commitment to five broad rights-based aims: the right to a sustainable livelihood, the right to basic social services, the right to life and security, the right to be heard and the right to equality: gender and diversity.
Oxfam India’s vision is to create a more equal, just, and sustainable world. The overarching vision of Oxfam India is “right to life with dignity for all‘‘. Oxfam India will fulfil its vision by empowering the poor and marginalized to demand their rights, engaging the non poor to become active and supportive citizens, advocating for an effective and accountable state and making markets work for poor and marginalized people.
Oxfam India works in partnership with over 180 grassroots NGOs to address root causes of poverty and injustice in the four areas of 1) Economic Justice, 2) Essential Services, 3) Gender Justice and 4), Humanitarian Response and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Oxfam India’s program is focused on seven States – Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – and four social groups – Dalits, tribals, Muslims, and women.