2 July 2021 2:53 PM GMT
The Madras High Court has asked the State Government of Tamil Nadu to get a road-map ready regarding the serving of adequate food and nourishment to the children who have suffered over the last 15 months or so, particularly among the more vulnerable sections. The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has sought State's initial response on this issue...
The Madras High Court has asked the State Government of Tamil Nadu to get a road-map ready regarding the serving of adequate food and nourishment to the children who have suffered over the last 15 months or so, particularly among the more vulnerable sections.
The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has sought State's initial response on this issue on July 7.
The Court was hearing the plea which submitted that even though children may not be attending schools, where midday meals were provided, the State has to be proactive and almost ensure door to door delivery of meals to children all across the State
"This matter needs the immediate urgent attention of the State. For such purpose, notices be issued immediately," said the Court.
The petitioner also referred to the National Food Security Act, 2013 and the nutritional content of the daily meals for children and submitted that since the schools remain closed and the midday meals cannot be provided, the State needs to ensure that children in the State get the food and nutritional content as specified in the statute.
The Court also noted that there may be logistic and practical difficulties in such regard (door to door delivery), however the Court did add that,
"…there is no doubt that aggressive steps need be taken by the State to ensure that the children are well fed and nourished, particularly since many families have lost jobs or have less resources available as a result of the pandemic and business not being normal."
Further, the Court also observed that while it may be easier for the State, whether through the Corporations or the Municipalities, to organize adequate food and nourishment for children in the urban or semi-urban areas, the difficulties may come up in the rural areas.
"The Panchayat system may be used by the State and NGOs may be roped in for the purpose of reaching food and nourishment to children in the rural areas, particularly since family incomes in the rural areas may have suffered more during the pandemic," the Court added.
The fundamental right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution may be interpreted to include the right to live with human dignity, which may include the right to food and other basic necessities, the Supreme Court observed in its judgment delivered on Tuesday (29th June 2021) directing all the states to implement the "one nation, one ration card" scheme and to run community kitchens for migrants.
The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah observed that it is the bounden duty of all States and Governments to provide food security to impoverished persons.
Click Here To Download Order