ASIA/INDIA - The Franciscans: political will to ensure food security in India is urgent

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 food safety   hunger   mulnutrition   poverty   dalit   migrants   tribalism   childhood   women   human rights   franciscan  

Calcutta (Agenzia Fides) - A shared commitment and the political will to end hunger and nutrition emergency in India is urgently needed, in order to ensure "food security" to the entire population. The Indian government is called to put in place a systematic action plan to implement the national law on food safety: is the appeal released through Agenza Fides, by Fr. Nithiya Sagayam Ofm Cap, national Coordinator of the "Association of the Franciscan Families of India" (AFFI).
"Despite the rapid economic development, a third of Indians still live below the poverty line: the reason is mainly the lack of political will", he says to Fides. This was discussed during a recent seminar organized by the Association of the Franciscan Families of India (AFFI) in collaboration with the NGO "Franciscans International", and the Udayani Center in Calcutta.
The seminar, which brought together 40 delegates and community coordinators from around the country, highlighted "that there are potentialities, both in people and in the same government, to put an end to extreme poverty". It would be enough to follow the recommendations contained in the 2013 "National Food Security Act", by implementing "an effective and concerted effort on the mechanisms that ensure nutrition and fitness to children, empowering women and organizing a public distribution system of food", notes AFFI.
The Franciscans promote a "holistic approach" that address, in their complexity, the issues and the various dimensions related to poverty and hunger in Indian society.
Those present got in contact with the National Federation activists for food safety, proposing a plan of action to strategically stop extreme poverty and hunger. As illustrated by Fr. Jothi, at the head of the Udayani Center, the guidelines of the action plan are: to create a deeper understanding of the rights of those living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger; organize a special meeting during the food Action Week (9-16 October), focusing on food rights through a widespread process of growing awareness; give priority to the oppressed and forgotten such as the inhabitants of rural areas, slums, migrants, Dalits and tribals (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/03/2017)

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