12 March 2012

State-Level Consultation Meeting On National Food Security Bill

State Consultation on National Food Security Bill 2011

March 16, 2012, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Venue: Nabaparjay’s union office at Shed No. 11, Khadya Bhavan, 11A Mirza Ghalib Street (near New Market), Kolkata

To discuss the critique of the National Food Security Bill 2011 tabled in the Parliament and
Plan strategy to force the Government to bring in a law that:

·         Ensures food security to all and the elimination of malnutrition and hunger in children and adults in the country
·         Addresses production, procurement and storage issues, establishing the dignity of farmers
·         Provides a universal PDS, removing targeting to BPL alone 
·         A Grievance Redress scheme that guarantees effective and immediate redress locally.

In December 2011, the Government of India placed the draft National Food Security Bill 2011 in Parliament. To say the least, the Bill is a great disappointment to all those who are striving for food security and the elimination of hunger in the country.  The Bill is now before the Parliamentary Standing Committee for discussion and finalisation before being placed in Parliament for the final debate and voting.

The National Right To Food Campaign, along with a number of West Bengal-based unions, groups and networks, is organising a State-level consultation on “National Food Security Bill 2011”.

During the consultation on March 16, we expect different groups to present their views on the Bill and to plan for a joint programme to influence the Standing Committee as well as to create public opinion. The agenda of the meeting would be to understand the content of the National Food Security Bill 2011 and its impact on food security. We would also look at West Bengal’s experience with legal entitlements, vigilance and redress in the rationing system and other schemes. We hope to come up with a campaign plan on the NFSB 2011 for West Bengal.

Some of the organisations who have agreed to participate in this programme are (in alphabetical order): Asanghatit Khetra Shramik Sangrami Manch, Binodini Shramik Union, Durbar Disha Griha Shramik Samanvay Committee,  Griha Adhikar Manch, Hawkers Sangram Committee, Hosiery Workers Unity Centre, Human Rights Law Network, Hunger Free West Bengal Campaign, Institute for Motivating Self Employment, Jana Swasthya Adhikar Raksha Samity, Liquor Shop Employees Union, MASUM, National Alliance of People’s Movements, New Trade Union Initiative,  Paschim Banga Jeevan Jeevika Surakhsha Manch, Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, Sara Bangla Truck Parichalak Sanghathan Samnavay Samity, Shramajivi Mahila Samity, Shramajivi Samanvay Committee, Sundarban Banadhikar Sangram Committee, Udayani Social Action Centre, Uthnau and West Bengal Government Employees Union (Nabaparjay). 

Kavita Srivastava, the National Convenor of the Right to Food Campaign, will also be present. A contribution of Rs10 from each participant is requested to cover the costs of the meeting.

Saumendra Narayan Basu, Debashis Pal, Mijanur Rehaman, Jothi Sj., Anuradha Talwar

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