The National Food Security Act: Real possibilities of ensuring nutritional support and economic security to all vulnerable households

The National Food Security Act is finally making headway in the poorest States. Amplified by reforms in the Public Distribution System, a modicum of nutritional support and economic security to all vulnerable households is now a real possibility.

Dhobargram is a small Santhal village in Bankura district of West Bengal, with 100 households or so. Most of them are poor, or even very poor, by any plausible standard. There are also some relatively well-off households — they are not rich, but they have things like concrete houses and motorcycles, often thanks to a permanent job in the public sector. Should this small minority of better-off households be excluded from the Public Distribution System (PDS)? […]

When they are included, there is greater pressure on the system to work. […]

Judging from brief enquiries in Jharkhand and Odisha, which are also in the process of rolling out the NFSA, there are similar developments there. The biggest challenge, responsible for the delayed rollout of NFSA in many States, is to identify eligible households. Even with near-universal coverage (86 per cent in rural Jharkhand and 82 per cent in rural Odisha), this is a daunting task.  […]

Perhaps for the first time, there are real possibilities of ensuring a modicum of nutritional support and economic security to all vulnerable households.

(Jean Dreze is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, Ranchi University.)

Source: National Food Secuity Act: Leaving no poor person behind, The Hindu (Opinion), 13 January 2016
Address: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/leaving-no-poor-person-behind/article8098918.ece
Date Visited: 14 January 2022

Adivasi communities traditionally depended on the forest for all their nutritional needs. They subsisted mainly on fruits, vegetables, tubers, fish, small game as well as the occasional crop they grew, predominantly coarse grains. However, as time passed and the nature of, as well as their access to, forests changed, their diet started becoming deficient. […]

This deficiency started manifesting in the form of rampant malnutrition, among adults and children alike, underweight babies as well as high maternal mortality [and] increased susceptibility to Tuberculosis among the Adivasis.

Blog post “Gardening their way to Good Health” by ACCORD – Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development https://www.accordweb.in/?p=4840 >>

On India’s 73rd Independence Day, we need to grapple with the shameful fact that over one-third of the world’s malnourished live in India. In Outlook this week, our I-Day special cover story asks- what about azadi from hunger?
Poshan​ #OutlookThisWeek​
Posted: Aug 15, 2019 on https://youtu.be/WWjM5xTGOps >>
Follow this story and more: https://www.outlookindia.com/

Discussing the challenge ahead for millions of India in the foreseeable future:
How to bring down the rate of stunting and wasting to single digit rates? [5:35] >>

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