The Main Vision Of FIAN India Is
"Full, realization of the human right to adequate food" so that the community can enjoy ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate and safe food in dignity.
The Mission Of FIAN India Is:
Mandate And Impact FIAN India recognises the need to work for the mainstreaming of the right to adequate food in the country. This is the only Human rights organisation in India working exclusively with the human right to food and feed oneself. The right to food is enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a treaty signed by 145 states that came into force in 1976. Article 11 of Covenant recognises, "[the] right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food [...]". The Covenant also obliges signatory states to achieve "[...] progressively the full realisation of the rights recognised in the present Covenant by all appropriate means [...]".Moreover in the Indian constitution right to food is also enshrined under right to life which is a fundamental right (Art. 21). These provisions shape the mandate of FIAN India to contribute in India in particular and throughout the world in general, to the implementation of the provisions of the International Bill of Human Rights by working for the protection of the human right to food and, above all, the right to feed oneself of persons or groups threatened by or suffering from hunger and malnutrition, especially peasants, agricultural workers, landless labourers, squatters, sharecroppers, and others whose land rights or agricultural labour rights have been or are being violated. In line with its mandate, FIAN India strengthens the ongoing struggle for the implementation of the right to food in the country. FIAN India tries to address concrete violations of the right to food through different forms of interventions and campaigns and works towards promoting the application of international law. FIAN has achieved considerable impacts in its pioneering work in India. The vulnerable groups and communities have become aware of their rights and have unionised themselves to claim their rights under the leadership of FIAN India. As a result of successful interventions of FIAN, victim communities have been able to exercise their rights effectively and have managed to establish control over productive resources rightfully. Moreover, due to campaign of FIAN India, the victim groups who were excluded from social security measures, have been given their fair share. FIAN India has also managed to substantially influence the shape of national laws that impact positively on the right to food. Hunger in India Today The human right to adequate food, as enshrined in Art. 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), entails the duty of states parties to enact legislation in order to progressively realise these substantive rights. India as a state party of this Covenant is duty-bound through these provisions. The right to food is enshrined also in the national context: In connection with the hunger situation in several Indian states a public interest litigation was submitted to the Supreme Court of India by PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties). The Indian court orders interpret the right to food as part of the right to life, which is a fundamental right in the Indian constitution. However, in spite of its obligations in constitutional and international law, the process of implementation leaves much to be desired. In India, the food situation is appalling: Nearly half of all Indian children are undernourished, half of all adult women are anaemic and more than one third have a body mass index which shows chronic energy deficiency. In international perspective, India is one of the most undernourished countries in the world. However, when it comes to food grain production, India is very rich: India has become a food exporting country. India's food grains are at a constant high level and contain presently at least 30 million tons of food grains. In spite of existing government schemes to ensure people's access to food, the poor and deprived communities in India are continuously struggling for survival. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for example stipulates that families identified as "below the poverty line" (BPL) get certain subsidised food items. Other schemes are supposed to provide support for the aged (National Old Age Pension Scheme), the poorest of the poor (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) or for school children (mid-day meal scheme). As a result of the ongoing proceedings related to the public interest litigation of PUCL, the Indian Supreme court has issued various orders towards the implementation of different schemes providing food and work. Hunger and malnutrition in India is generated not due to lack of production or resources but due to lack of proper distribution of resources and assertion of rights. Already marginalized and vulnerable groups in the Indian society are increasingly losing their access and traditional rights to productive resources. They are becoming the victim of malnourishment and hunger. With increasing process of globalisation the invasion of global capital in India has resulted in further alienation of productive resources from the poor and has given birth to various conflicts. In spite of the catastrophic food situation, chronic hunger is not a major topic in media or public debates. There is the urgent need to inform people and bring the issue to the national agenda. The objective of this project is to link up national campaigns with efforts by international civil society to generate a stronger commitment to the right to food and to develop positions and set the stage for a long-term lobbying effort towards the realisation of the right to food in India. The right to food has proven to be a powerful legal concept that can be used in campaigning for social justice from many angles - such as pressing for effective agrarian reform or giving additional legal backing to basic income grant initiatives. In order to provide a clear illustration of the state's compliance with the obligations under the right to food and the government's policy towards its realisation it is helpful to draft a country report on the right to food. In such a report, the focus would be on several cases, where the right to food is violated. Such a report could be used as a parallel report submitted to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the UN. Moreover there are other benefits of such a report: A country report offers an important opportunity for civil society to make their voice heard and to influence some of the decisions taken by government, which have an impact on the right to food of vulnerable people. A country report could be a starting point towards the implementation of the right to food.
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