PUCL Bulletin, April 2002

Famine Deaths Writ
PUCL Rajasthan Campaign Update

Thank you for reading this report and supporting the Right to Food Campaign. We should spare no effort in ending the shame of mounting food stocks amidst widespread hunger. The Supreme Court's interim order of 28 November 2001, which converts the benefits of all nutrition-related schemes into legal entitlements, is an important step forward. The court is now considering the demand for a nation-wide "employment guarantee programme". The next hearing is scheduled for 19th March 2002. Meanwhile a growing number of individuals and organisations have taken up the issue and initiated a wide range of advocacy activities. The Right to Food Campaign is gathering strength.

Day of Action on April 9
The campaign will be taking a new turn on 9 April with an "action day on mid-day meals", to demand the immediate provision of mid-day meals in all primary schools. Among the organisations and networks that are already gearing up for this day of action are Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), FORCES, PUCL, Centre for Legal Action and Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP, Orissa), Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (Rajasthan), Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, and many local organisations in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Delhi, Chhatisgarh, and Jharkhand.

Campaign Activities
This being a decentralised campaign, the activities to be taken up on 9 April are largely a matter of local initiative. As of now, they include: * Spreading information and awareness through pamphlets, posters, debates, seminars, media events, etc. * Raising the issue in State Assemblies * Children's rallies and other demonstrations, from the block level to the national capital. * A "people's mid-day meal" organised with community support, and other symbolic events * Agitations outside (if not inside) FCI godowns * ... and the list goes on and on.

Hopefully, this initial action will pave the way for more sustained activities later on, focusing not only on mid-day meals but also on other aspects of the right to food and work. We are looking forward to your active involvement in this campaign for the right to food. Do write to us for further information or to let us know of any activities being planned in your area.

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