Tag Archives: Hunger

रोगाणु, दाग़ और हमारा ‘विशुद्ध’ समाज : वी. गीता

Guest post by V. GEETHA. Translated by RAJENDER SINGH NEGI

कोरोना के आने से पहले ही हममें रोगाणुओं को लेकर चिंता का भाव विद्यमान था. ज़रा उन फ़र्श, किचन काउंटर, कपड़ों, इत्यादि रोगाणुओं, दाग़, और तमाम क़िस्म के सूक्ष्म घुसपैठी जंतुओं से निजात दिलाने वाले विज्ञापनों को याद करें, जिनमे इन सभी को पर्याप्त और बड़ी चालाकी से दुष्ट क़रार दिया जाता रहा है. कोरोना ने हमें ख़ुद को विशुद्ध और साफ़-सुथरा रखने का पूर्णत: वाजिब कारण दे दिया है. हम चाहे ख़ुद को चारदीवारी के अंदर बंद कर लें, या, अन्यों को उसमें दाख़िल होने से रोकें, अंतत: इसका नतीजा वही निकलता है, कि हम अक्सर पहले से ही समाज में व्याप्त जातिगत, वर्ग-आधारित, नस्ल-भेदी और धार्मिक आधार पर बनाई गई सामाजिक मान्यताओं की दीवारें ही खड़ी कर रहे होते हैं.

तो फिर जिस जोश-खरोश से हमने संभावित संक्रामक माने जाने वाले लोगों पर नज़र रखने, उन्हें चिह्नित और वर्जित करने की क़वायद सर पर उठा रखी है उस पर अचरज नहीं करना चाहिए. इस वर्जना में सरेआम सड़कों पर धर-पकड़, शर्मिंदा किया जाना, घरों में ‘आईसोलेट’ किए गयों के नाम सार्वजनिक किया जाना, और मरीज़ों का ईलाज कर रहे डॉक्टरों और नर्सों का उनकी ही रिहाईशी कॉलोनियों में प्रवेश की निषेधआज्ञा लागू किया जाना भी शामिल है.

Continue reading रोगाणु, दाग़ और हमारा ‘विशुद्ध’ समाज : वी. गीता

Feed The Poor, Go To Jail

image : Courtesy eideard.com

Whether serving food to the homeless is a crime?

Ask Arnold Arbott, known as Chef Arbott, a 90 year old man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who along-with two other members of a Church charity faces potential jail term for at least six months for the same ‘offence’. In fact his name finds prominent mention in the police records in the past week for breaking the new city ordinance which has come into effect recently which characterises his act as breach of law, according to reports.

Talking to a newsperson he said:

“These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. They don’t have a roof over their head. And who could turn them away?”

Continue reading Feed The Poor, Go To Jail

Reporting Hunger from the Margins: Agrima Bhasin and Ashwin Parulkar


The watchdog metaphor obliges the media to step up their role, that of an opinion maker, and stir public opinion on hunger and food security in India

A priest turned beggar, his body starved thin; a family of destitute potters picking up grains soiled in mud; emaciated women forced into sex work; and a man scavenged by dogs and vultures. These were just a few of the scores of starving people journalist Chittaprosad Bhattacharya drew in black and white sketches in his travels through Bengal’s Midnapore district during the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, the last of a spate of famines that plagued colonial India during British rule. Bhattacharya’s portraits of the destitute ’showed’ stories of mass starvation, making visible through withering human flesh a nearly immeasurable tragedy of more than 3 million hunger deaths. Brutal yet compassionate, his graphic chronicles provoked the ire of colonial administrators, prompting officials to burn every copy of his book, Hungry Bengal (1943).

Women turned 'prostitutes
Drawing by Chittaprosad on the 1943 Bengal famine

Despite the censorship of his book, Bhattacharya continued to report on the famine for the Communist Party of India’s weekly newspaper, The People’s War. His sustained efforts to bring the realities of mass hunger to bear on the public conscience in colonial, famine-struck Bengal set a precedent for journalists to use the press as a watchdog that can impel the government to act. Today, his reportage is instructive for those in the profession who particularly cover hunger, poverty and inequality.

In today’s India, home to over 200 million chronically hungry and malnourished people, a significant but small number of dedicated editors, publishers, journalists, photographers and broadcasters are taking strides to highlight the complex nature of inequality in this country. A sporadic renewal of interest on the part of the media to report on hunger and starvation often only occurs in moments of crisis: starvation deaths, children’s deaths, or spoilage of grains in warehouses. Continue reading Reporting Hunger from the Margins: Agrima Bhasin and Ashwin Parulkar

Reject the National Food Security Bill: Right to Food Campaign

This release was put out by the RIGHT TO FOOD CAMPAIGN on 19 March 2013

More than 500 people of the Right to Food Campaign sitting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi rejected the National Food Security Bill 2013 which was passed by the cabinet of the UPA Government today evening and will now be placed in the Parliament in this session.


People were shocked to learn that according to the Bill that was passed, the law will not be applied in one stroke. The language of the law is that different dates may be appointed for different states and different provisions for the implementation of the Act.  This clearly means that there is no time frame for full implementation or objective criteria for phased implementation. It means the government in power has the choice to decide which state and what provisions need to be implemented. We condemn this as being against the fundamental rights of the people and the federal nature of the Indian state.  This also clearly shows that the Government is not really committed towards ensuring the end of food insecurity of the teeming millions of the country. Continue reading Reject the National Food Security Bill: Right to Food Campaign

Why the Parliament should reject the standing committee’s recommendations on the Food Security Bill: RTFC

This statement was put out by the RIGHT TO FOOD CAMPAIGN on 24 January

The much awaited recommendations of the Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution on the National Food Security Bill are a letdown to those who wrote to the Committee urging it to ensure justice to the people of India.  The Committee despite taking a year since December 2011 when the Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha, has undermined the goal of food security for all the people of India through its recommendations given to the Parliament on 17 January, 2013. Instead of moving forward, the Committee’s recommendations are a leap backward by removing even existing entitlements. If the Committee’s recommendations are to be legislated, then it is the Campaign’s reasoned position that it rather not have a food security law rather than accept one which: Continue reading Why the Parliament should reject the standing committee’s recommendations on the Food Security Bill: RTFC