Wednesday, November 23, 2011


An ‘Anna Suraksha Adhikar Jhumbesh’ (Right to Food Campaign) brought together more than 400 men and women from all parts of Gujarat to Ahmedabad for a two day programme on November 21st and 22nd, 2011.

The Campaign initiated by JESA (Jesuits in Social Action) Gujarat is involved in 900 villages and 50 slum settlements across the State.  JESA Gujarat operates through its nine Social Action Centres / Parishes namely (i) Adivasi Kheti Yojna, Bhiloda (ii) Ashadeep, Vidyanagar (iii) Behavioural Science Centre, Ahmedabad (iv) Navsarjan, Surat (v) Nyay Darshan, Vadodara (vi) Prashant, Ahmedabad (vii) Rajpipla Social Service Society, Rajpipla (viii) SHAKTI – Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre, Songadh (ix) St. Xavier’s Social Service Society, Ahmedabad.

The Sammelan focused on the various activities undertaken by the participants in educating the people on the nine schemes which are the mainstay of the Campaign. These are the:  (i) Annapurna Scheme (APS) (ii) Midday Meal Scheme (MDMS) (iii) Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) (iv) National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) (v) National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) (vi) National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) (viii) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) (viii) Public Distribution System (PDS) (ix) Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

The participants shared their experiences and efforts to make the Right to Food a reality in the State: the challenges they faced, the obstacles they encountered and also their success stories.  It was heart-warming indeed to hear those coming from remote villages narrate their first-hand experiences on this campaign and the “impact” of the schemes on the people. 

The highlight of the programme was the presence of some Government Officials and even representatives of other networks on the Right to Food who interacted with the participants in a very positive way.

At the conclusion of the Sammelan, the participants took a formal pledge to make the Campaign more known to all, a more effective one and to do their best to ensure that not a single person goes to bed hungry in the State.  “The Right to Food is not merely a right to us but it is our birthright!” they proclaimed as they wound their way back to their villages / slums on conclusion of a very eventful programme.

Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
(for the Organiser)

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