India ‘Food security bill’ can be global example

New Delhi : The proposed National Food Security Bill has the potential to be a global example, experts from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and Oxfam said here Tuesday.

India stands at the threshold of potentially the largest step towards food justice the world has ever seen, as the National Food Security Bill works its way through parliament,” Lawrence Haddad, director of the Britain-based IDS, said.

“Although the bill alone won’t fix India’s food system, the world will be watching to see if it can provide a template for other countries to follow,” Haddad said ahead of the launch of a bulletin by IDS and voluntary organisation Oxfam in the national capital.

The bill aims to give legal right to cheaper foodgrain to 63.5 per cent of the population. Around 180 million households — 65 million below poverty line (BPL) and 115 million above poverty line (APL) category families — get subsidised rations under the PDS through the fair price shops.

The bulletin examines food justice in the country and addresses questions on empowering the marginalised and women.

 

“Due to India’s large population, the country is home to 42 percent of the world’s underweight children and 31 per cent of its stunted children. India has alarming levels of hunger on the global hunger index,” said Nisha Agrawal, chief executive officer of Oxfam India.

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