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Announcement: 5th National Convention on The Right to Food and Work (Ahmedabad, 1-3 March 2014)

21 December 2013

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MARK YOUR CALENDERS

ANNOUNCEMENT from the RIGHT TO FOOD CAMPAIGN


5th NATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD AND WORK

1-3 MARCH 2013

AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT

Dear friends,

ANNOUNCING THE FIFTH NATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD AND WORK 1-3 MARCH 2013, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The Steering group of the Right to Food Campaign[1] invites you and your organization to the Fifth National Convention on the Right to Food and Work in Ahmedabad from 1-3 March 2014.

The last convention was organized in Rourkela, Odisha, in July 2010 where more than 2500 people from 18 States participated. The context of the last convention was to push for a comprehensive food security law. It also consisted of discussions on issues of agricultural production, procurement and storage of food along with other determinants of food security. The discussions also dwelled on critiquing the reforms in food governance systems, particularly the Public Distribution System being linked with UID and cash transfers. Public action at local, state and national level was also planned.

The forthcoming Convention in March 2014, aims to consolidate the gains of people’s campaigns on issues of survival and build broad alliances in preparation to ensure the centrality of eliminating hunger, the right to food and livelihoods, and social protection as a political priority for the 2014 general elections and beyond.

This Convention comes on the heels of the passage of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 by the Indian Parliament in September 2013. The NFSA falls short of the framework and provisions proposed by the Campaign for a food law. The proposed convention will strategise to press for a comprehensive food security law. At the same time, it will also review the implementation of the law, as monitored by the campaign, since its passage.

The context of the 2014 convention is also to debate the dominant market-led development models with growing socio-economic disparities and their impact on hunger in the light of increasing food inflation. This convention will also analyse the international trade treaties, the recently concluded WTO Ministerial meet at Bali and their impact on farmers and the poor. The strengthening of the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, the Forests Rights Act, challenging state policy of coercive change in land use, the introduction of GM foods and ensuring the right to food of children, women, Dalits, Tribals, the Minorities and the Disabled will also be important priorities.

This event convened by the Right to Food Campaign in Gujarat aims to chart the campaign priorities in 2014 and beyond.

As planned in the meeting organized on the 19th and 20th December 2013, all constituents of the campaign, including state campaigns would organize their conventions latest by mid-February 2014 in order to facilitate better involvement of local groups and grassroots organisations at the national convention.

Participating organisations are also invited to bring their campaign material (e.g. reports, posters, exhibitions, etc.) for circulation or display at the Gujarat convention.

The cost of this convention will be met through voluntary donations and registration fees. Thus any donations that you can send will be most helpful.

A minimum of 200 per participant for three days, including food and accommodation, has been kept as registration fee, although the actual cost is working out to be Rs. 500 per participant for lodging, boarding, local transport and food.

Kindly, intimate us about the number of participants who will come from your organisation as it will help us plan for the convention.

All participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements. Kindly book your tickets well in advance.

We request you to share news of this convention within your organization and with other interested organizations/individuals as well. The same letter in Hindi is attached.

For further information, please send a line to righttofoodindia at gmail.com, check the campaign website (righttofoodindia.org) or contact the Right to Food Campaign secretariat at 011- 2649 9563.

In solidarity,

Steering group of the Right to Food Campaign

We are,

Annie Raja (National Federation for Indian Women), Anuradha Talwar and Gautam Modi (New Trade Union Initiative), Arun Gupta and Radha Holla (Breast Feeding Promotion Network of India), Arundhati Dhuru and Ulka Mahajan (National Alliance of People’s Movements), Asha Mishra (Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti), Aruna Roy, Anjali Bharadwaj and Nikhil Dey (National Campaign for People’s Right to Information), Ashok Bharti (National Conference of Dalit Organizations), Colin Gonsalves (Human Rights Law Network), Kiran Vissa and Kavitha Kuruganthi (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture), Kavita Srivastava and Binayak Sen (People’s Union for Civil Liberties), Lali Dhakar, Sarawasti Singh, Shilpa Dey and Radha Raghwal (National Forum for Single Women’s Rights), Mira Shiva and Vandana Prasad (Jan Swasthya Abhiyan), Paul Divakar and Asha Kowtal (National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights), Praveen, Prahlad Ray and Anand Malakar (Rashtriya Viklang Manch), Subhash Bhatnagar (National Campaign Committee for Unorganized Sector workers), Jean Drèze and Vidya Bhushan Rawat (Former Support Group for the Right to Food campaign)

Veena Shatrugna, M Kodandram and Rama Melkote (Andhra Pradesh), Saito Basumaatary and Sunil Kaul (Assam), Rupesh (Bihar), Gangabhai and Sameer Garg (Chhattisgarh), Pushpa, Amrita, Vimla and Sarita (Delhi), Sejal Dand and Neeta Hardikar (Gujarat), Sharada Gopal, Abhay Kumar and Clifton (Karnataka), Balram, Gurjeet Singh and James Herenj (Jharkhand), Sachin Jain (Madhya Pradesh), Mukta Srivastava and Suresh Sawant (Maharashtra), Tarun Bharatiya (Meghalaya), Bidyut Mohanty, Raj Kishore Mishra, Vidhya Das (Orissa), Ashok Khandelwal, Bhanwar Singh and Vijay Lakshmi (Rajasthan), V Suresh (Tamil Nadu), Bindu Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Fr. Jothi SJ and Mr. Saradindu Biswas (West Bengal)

For more information, please contact

Kavita Srivastava (0141-2594131 or 09351562965),

Dipa Sinha (09650434777)

Sejal Dand (08130200062)

Neeta Hardikar (09428512745)

Secretariat: c/o PHRN, E-39, First floor, Lajpat Nagar - III, New Delhi – 110024, India Website: www.righttofoodindia.org, Email: righttofoodindia at gmail.com, Phone: +91-11 2649 9563

[1] The "Right to Food Campaign" is an informal network of organisations and individuals committed to the realisation of the right to food in India. We consider that everyone has a fundamental right to be free from hunger. For a brief account of the campaign’s activities so far, please visit our website righttofoodindia.org