Top StoriesPlea In SC Seeks Temporary Pan-Indian Community Kitchens At Block-Level Amidst COVID Lockdown Mehal Jain23 April 2020 4:25 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has been moved in a plea seeking directions to the Centre and the states to set-up pan-India temporary community kitchens at the Block-level amid the pandemic of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure that no person is forced to sleep on an empty stomach in these trying times. The applicants, through Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi and Ashima Mandla submits that concept…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has been moved in a plea seeking directions to the Centre and the states to set-up pan-India temporary community kitchens at the Block-level amid the pandemic of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure that no person is forced to sleep on an empty stomach in these trying times. The applicants, through Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi and Ashima Mandla submits that concept of state-funded community kitchens is not a novelty concept in the country or globally and States such as Tamil Nadu (Amma Unavagam), Rajasthan(Annapurna Rasoi), Karnataka (Indira Canteens), Delhi (Aam Aadmi Canteen), Andhra Pradesh (Anna Canteen),Jharkhand (Mukhyamantri Dal Bhat) and Odisha (Ahaar Centre)have established the same with the object of combating hunger and malnutrition crisis in the nation, providing nutritious food at subsidized rates to the lower socio-economic strata of the society.Furthermore, the personnel employed in these community kitchens provide employment, which is an added advantage in this economy where even joblessness is rampantly on the rise, adding to the cycle of hunger and malnutrition. It is pointed out that the Global Hunger Index 2018 report prepared by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerlife ranked India at 103 out of 119 qualifying countries. India also scored 31.1, indicating that it suffers from a level of hunger that is critical and serious. “hunger, malnutrition and starvation crises is prevalent in the Country despite of various interventions by the Central and State Governments are running various schemes such as The PublicDistribution System (PDS); Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY);The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, also known as “Mid-Day Meal Scheme”;The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS);Annapurna Scheme; The National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS);The National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS); and The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) to name a few.Furthermore, the Parliament of India in 10.09.2013 enacted the National Food Security Act causing a paradigm shift in the approach food security from welfare to rights based approach”, it is averred. It is advanced that the vice of food insecurity in the country has gravely and rampantly risen in the background of the present pandemic of COVID-19, with an exponential increase in the numbers of persons both prone and subjected to hunger crises and starvation, and deaths resulting thereof. “The States and Union Territories in their respective reply affidavits/counter affidavits (in the main writ petition for establishment of pan-India community kitchens funded by the Government or by PPP funding, and creation of a national food grid) have analysed and deliberated upon the model of community kitchens as well as other schemes which are either covered under the purview of the National Security Act, 2013 or those outside its ambit”, it is submitted.Moreover, it is argued that the Apex Court has verbally expressed its affirmation to the requirement of the implementation of pan-India community kitchens what can be termed as „normal times‟ before the outbreak of the pandemic. “However, the present application has been moved by the Applicants with the objective to seek the intervention of this Hon‟ble Court by directing pan-India establishment of „temporary‟ community kitchens as an effort to contain the parallel extraordinary food crises due to economic shutdown. It is imperative to imbibe the magnitude and extent of the present food crises as being unprecedented, extraordinary and indefinite and thereby impinging upon the fundamental right of „Right to Food‟ under Article 21”, it is averred. “The present pandemic has proved to be fatal for a percentage of persons contracting the novel Coronavirus. However, the unprecedented economic disruptions as a consequence of the aforementioned pandemic may result increased food insecurity and rise in the number of hunger-related crises and deaths…nearly 19 crore persons in our country are forced to sleep on an empty stomach even in what we may refer as „the normal times‟; and now with the lockdown to contain COVID-19, hunger threatens even a larger population of persons for whom buying food is outside their budgetary capacity. To an extent, the fear of lack of food for basic sustenance drove the migrant workers to risk their lives and potentially that of others, in an attempt to travel to their hometowns”, it is iterated. It is indicated that „community kitchens‟ has been implemented in various states by the State Government as well as private persons/Non-Governmental Organisations(NGO‟s) as a rudimental surviving stimulusin these trying times. The Ministry of Rural Development in an April 13 press release states that amid the present lockdown owing to global pandemic of COVID-19, Community Kitchens have emerged as an empirical solution to feed those in need. Besides, it was stated that the collaboration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in every Gram Panchayat along with the Local Government has resulted in the setting up of 10,000 community kitchens across five states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, to name a few; wherein an approximate number of 70,000 persons are fed two meals a day. “Amidst the lockdown, the Central Government has announced 5kg extra food grains and 1kg of pulses free of cost for 3 months for every Indian enrolled in the PDS. However, making reference to statistics quoted in an article published in Quartz India, it is alleged that in our country, more than 100 million people are excluded from the PDS because of the reliance of the Centre on the 2011 census figures to calculate the State-wise coverage under the National Food Security Act, 2013”, it is lamented.Next Story
10 September 2013 Africa continues to increase its investor allure, with South Africa still the continent’s most attractive investment destination, now closely followed by Nigeria, according Rand Merchant Bank’s (RMB’s) latest Where to Invest in Africa report. Nigeria moved from third to second place in RMB’s report and is “close on the heels of South Africa”, RMB said in a statement on Monday, adding that Nigeria could overtake South Africa in the next two to four years “or even sooner” depending on its rate of economic growth. Another notable change in RMB’s latest rankings is Ghana’s climb up the rankings, from 10th in 2007 to 4th in 2013, despite being economically one-fifth the size of continental giants South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt. While continued political unrest counted against Egypt, RMB said, the country’s sizeable market, large population and decent operating environment should support increased investment once tensions subsided. RMB noted that its rankings had been drawn up before the recent flare-ups in Egypt and Libya, but said the report was “meant to inform long-term investment decisions”, and that more clarity should arise over the coming year. Of the 52 countries surveyed, 42 showed improved investor attractiveness, RMB said, with the biggest improvements coming from some of the continent’s most troubled countries, notably Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Congo, Mauritania and Liberia. Backsliders over the last year included Algeria, Angola and Equitorial Guinea, while, over the last decade, 41 countries improved their attractiveness and only three – Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zimbabwe – deteriorated. RMB’s report gauges investment attractiveness using three factors: market size (GDP), economic growth (GDP forecasts for the next five years), and operating environment. As a supplementary ranking, the report also considers the effect of regional affiliation on countries’ economic attractiveness. In terms of this regional methodology, South Africa is ranked third, “underscoring its importance as a gateway into Africa”, Rwanda climbs to second spot, and Mauritius comes first based on its access to broader markets within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). However, RMB notes, African countries still have a way to go in order to compete with the most attractive investment destinations worldwide, with China and the US topping the overall list and only two African countries – South Africa at 33rd and Nigeria at 38th – making the top 40. SAinfo reporter
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Dan Cohen AUTHOR The General Services Administration (GSA) last week began accepting bids in an online auction for a former communications facility run by the Navy in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia.The 122-acre campus at the former Navy Information Operations Command Sugar Grove once supported up to 450 personnel and their families in a self-contained community which includes residential housing among its 105 buildings. The Navy base closed in September, eliminating one of Pendleton County’s largest employers and the state’s only active-duty military installation, reported Stars and Stripes.The site is “ideal for a corporate training center, a university or academic campus, a spa/clinic, movie studio or mountain resort,” according to its listing on the GSA Auctions website. The high bid listed for the property is $1 million; a closing date for the auction has not been determined.Kansas-based KVC Health Systems, a child welfare and behavioral health care organization, previously has said it is interested in acquiring the site to turn it into a skills training college for young adults transitioning out of foster care. The federal government had offered to turn over the facility to the state at no cost for use as a state prison, but Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) turned down the overture.