UPDATE (India): Supreme Court instructs Uttar Pradesh government to look into severe malnutrition and starvation deaths

Dear friends,

Further to two earlier Hunger Alerts (HA-01-2004 and HA-03-2004) on starvation in Uttar Pradesh state, India, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Supreme Court has instructed the government of Uttar Pradesh to take steps to guarantee the right to food of the affected persons.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary of the state government of September 22, the Commissioners of the Supreme Court, Dr N C Saxena and Mr S R Sankaran, have requested the government to take immediate steps to protect persons at risk of hunger in Raup village, Sonebhadra district (HA-01-2004). The directive has come in response to the complaint received from the Social Development Foundation, Delhi. The commissioners have also urged the government to start programmes to ensure that the right to food of the affected villagers is protected.

The commissioners also referred to the case of two severely malnourished children in Uttar Pradesh brought to them by the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (HA-03-2004). They have requested the government to provide relief for the two children, and also enquire into how the children came to be so severely malnourished.

The Supreme Court has sought a reply from the government by October 31 on what actions are being taken to these ends, and on what is being done to hold the negligent officials accountable.

The AHRC urges you to write further appeal letters to the relevant authorities in support of the letter by the commissioners, urging the government of Uttar Pradesh to intervene without delay to address widespread malnutrition, hunger and denial of services to the affected persons. Please see the suggested letters and contact details in the earlier appeals. Please also stress in the letters that in the long term, the securing of the right to food depends upon the securing of entitlements to land and other resources to ensure a sustainable and productive livelihood. 

Urgent Appeals Desk–Hunger Alert

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type : Hunger Alert Update
Countries : India,
Issues : Right to food,