SC notice to Centre on plea for community kitchens
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea seeking to formulate a scheme for the implementation of community kitchens so that no person should sleep on an empty stomach.
A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana agreed to hear the plea filed by activists Anun Dhawan, Ishann Dhawan and Kunjana Singh seeking direction to set up country-wide community kitchens to supplement existing food security schemes.
In the plea, the activists had sought direction to government create a national food grid for those persons beyond the scope of the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS). They said that in-spite of various schemes in operation, the figures pertaining to hunger-related deaths is at an alarming high. They also said that an estimated figure of 19 crore people are sleeping on an empty stomach in this country.
Citing some state-funded community kitchens being operated in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha in their plea, the activists said that these states are meeting its objective of combating hunger and malnutrition crisis and providing nutritious food at subsidized rates to the lower socio-economic strata of the society.
These community kitchens are also providing employment to many people and it is an added advantage in this economy where even joblessness is rampantly on the rise.
The petitioner has also sought direction to the National Legal Services Authority to formulate a scheme to further the provisions of Article 51A of the Constitution in order to mitigate deaths resulting from hunger, malnutrition and starvation.
India is placed at 103 out of 119 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2018 report prepared by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, the plea said.IANS