News & Events

WEBINAR – Right to Food and Caste in the Context of Current Crisis of COVID 19




Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 6:00 pm

Duration: 120 minutes

Organised by

Ford Foundation Chair on PIL

in collaboration with

Centre for Child and the Law (CCL)

National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore


Savitri Phule Ambedkar Caravan, NLSIU

Tuesday, April 14th 2020

1800 hrs to 2000 hrs (IST)


The Covid 19 pandemic and the responses to it, including movement restrictions and suspension of ‘non-essential’ economic activities have proved devastating for India’s vulnerable, impoverished population. The worst hit in this pandemic, are small producers, vendors, daily wage labourers and small farmers. Movement restrictions have resulted in loss of business for vendors and small producers, small and marginal farmers are unable to market their produce, leading to severe forms of food insecurity and widespread hunger. It is to be noted that big companies and aggregators involved in supply of essential commodities are allowed to operate and the absence of such formal structures have kept poor people deprived of such opportunities. Special benefits announced by central and state governments are yet to reach them and in the meanwhile the poor communities especially those in remote and rural areas are facing a humanitarian crisis. Studies have shown that most such people have been subjected to multiple deprivations owing to not only their economic but social status as well.

Caste and religion have always played a major role in determining and realising the right to food. Historical deprivations and discrimination are multiplied in the wake of crisis and shortage of food supply. For socially marginalised groups, dependence on welfare schemes increases multifold because of the lack of livelihood opportunities. However, with COVID 19 pandemic even the entitlements are not getting realised leaving these marginalized groups reeling under severe hunger. At the Central and State level, support measures and welfare packages have been announced for the impoverished population to survive the pandemic, however, immediate implementation of such provisions remains a challenge. Closure of service delivery centres such as Anganwadi centres, Schools and Fair Price Shops or the challenges in reaching those centres, have endangered not only household level food security but have also resulted in blatant violation of right to food for children, children from marginalised social groups being most affected.

It is in this context that National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore is organising a Webinar on April 14th 2020, Ambedkar Jayanti, with a view to highlight the violation of right to food for marginalised social groups.

Specific objectives of the Webinar are:

  1. To analyse the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on socially vulnerable populations with a focus on historically disadvantaged communities, women and children from low-income households, especially small farmers, vendors, casual/migrant workers in terms of their right to food and nutrition.
  2. To understand the specific challenges on the ground and brainstorm on the immediate and strategic interventions to be made to support these communities realise their right to food.
  3. To explore strategies to improve or supplement access to food and social security measures, through engagement with the community, civil society and the state.

Target Audience

  • Civil Society Organizations
  • Community Leaders and Workers’ representatives
  • Students and Academics


Webinar Speakers:

  1. Shri Harsh Mander, Delhi
  2. Ms Kavita Srivastav, PUCL, Rajasthan
  3. Dr Dipa Sinha, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  4. Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Doctor
  5. Dr Ujjaini Halim, IMSE, West Bengal
  6. Shri Haldhar Mahto, Jharkhand State Food Commission
  7. Aditya Srivastava, Advocate, Delhi
  8. Martin Rempiss, Bread for the World, Germany