Advocacy for Food Entitlements

  • Advocacy for Food Entitlements

The persistence of a feudal ethos with its strong socio-economic discriminatory context has meant that lower castes, women and poor remain silenced, victims of brazen violence and atrocities almost on an everyday basis. The situation is compounded by the high levels of illiteracy among low caste, muslims and especially women. Social evils and conservative customs that sanction subjugation of poor by rich, forced unaffordable rituals of community feasts leading to indebtedness of poor, perpetuate caste and gender inequality in these interior regions. Most of benefits of the state welfare schemes are grabbed by the nexus of politician-contractor-bureaucrat and majority of poor are left to earn daily wage by participating in employment generation programmes that mostly involve digging ponds, uprooting bushes, leveling tracks, etc. Most of vulnerable dalit communities survive as subordinated voicelessgroups having extremely low levels of awareness about basic govt. welfare schemes.

It is in this context that the Food Security project with the support of Dan Church Aid was started in the beginning of 2007. SURE selected 10 villages from Barmer Block that were comparatively nearer to the district headquarter and 11 villages from Chohtan Block that were interior villages.

Objectives

  • Targeted right holders realize their food and employment rights from state run schemes with direct bearing on food security i.e. social security schemes, PDS and livelihood schemes.
  • Targeted right holders have increased access to and control over productive resources (land, water, forest and capital).
  • Targeted right holders increasingly accessing state services and able to apply low risk sustainable, equitable and diversified use of productive resources.
  • Enhanced nutritional security among the targeted right holders.
  • Enhanced capacity of SURE and People’s Organizations to plan, implement and review the DCA food security programme with strategic cooperation and synergy with likeminded resource institutions and international organizations and their partners.

Some of the key activities have involved coordination meeting with PDS, MDM, ICDS workers; block and district level advocacy on ICDS, MDM, PDS, MGNREGA, Pension, other Govt. schemes and food security issues. In addition to this, the VLFSC members participated in national networks for advocacy on food security.

  

Lok Adhikar Network is a common platform of 22 social organizations of Barmer district. Focusing on 2 Gram Panchayat (Ramzan ki Gafan & Bawarwala) the project aimed at the following:

  • To aware poor, dalit, deprived, exploited group, women about their rights.
  • To link them with MGNREGA and improve their economic level.
  • Advocacy on MGNREGA There have been different issues relating to the implementation of MGNREGA in many villages. To prevent these, village food security committees advocate on fair and proper selection of the workers, and for ensuring that all facilities and arrangements are provided at MGNREGA sites. In 2009 transparency in scrutinizing applications, equal group work distribution and timely payment were ensured in Hathama, Segari, Daruda, Genhun, Soamniyon. In Ghonia, 120 people, 80 in Hathma, 105 in Dhok, 80 in Daruda got job opportunities in MGNREGA.