In the face of harsh drought and starvation deaths in 2001, PUCL approached the Supreme Court to request that the food in the Food Corporation of India’s overflowing godowns be distributed to the starving people. The situation in Rajasthan was mirrored in other states, wide spread hunger had become the norm. Today in India one is faced with the terrible situation where the Government of India exports grain for cattle feed at below BPL rates but does not feed its hungry population.
The Court received this Public Interest Petition well and passed 11 orders in favour of the 9 food and work related schemes. These orders were applicable to all the states of India. This set a precedent at a Central level. The orders gave a fillip to the various movements working on the right to food and the consolidating the national campaign on the “Right to Food”.
Within Maharashtra various groups and grassroot organisations have been working at different levels on the “Right to Food”. In order to share information about the Supreme Court and High Court orders, to link the National Campaign with the local right to food campaign and to form a monitoring system for the various schemes at the state level, a State Level Workshop on Right to Food was organized in Nagpur between September 16-18, 2005, by India Centre for Human Rights and Law (unit of HRLN), Shashwat Surakshit Upjivika Adhikar Abhiyan, Anna Hakk Abhiyan- Maharashtra and Sathi Cehat.
Inspite of the heavy rains over 150 people attended the workshop and many of the key activists from the Right to Food campaign were there to share with the group on various
Report – Two-days workshop on Right to Food
17 and 18 September 2005, Nagpur