The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the AAP government on a PIL seeking a direction to it to implement the National Food Security Act to ensure good health to children attending Anganwadi centres and schools here.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the Delhi government on the plea by a charitable trust which has alleged that the quality of food being supplied under the Anganwadi and Mid-day Meals schemes here are of low standards.
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The court has fixed the matter for further consideration on October 19. According to Matri Sudha, there is a lack of monitoring and coordinated working on the issues of nutritional and food security in Delhi as mandated under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
It has alleged that the Delhi government has “failed to create and maintain scientific storage facilities at state, district and block levels sufficient to accommodate foodgrains required under the Targeted Public Distribution System and other food-based welfare schemes”.
The PIL, filed through advocate Vikram Srivastava, also alleged that the food supplied could be “harmful to the health of both pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children and hence, there was a complete violation of fundamental right to health of women and children in India”.
It said, “There is a collapse of monitoring mechanism in management of food manufacturing and supply in Delhi under the Anganwadi and Mid-day Meals programme with no monitoring and regulation in place.”
The petition has sought that necessary directions be issued to bring on record the actual status of malnourished children within the age group of 0–18 years in Delhi and the state plan to combat the situation.
It also urged the court to bring on record the measures taken by the departments concerned “to manage malnutrition and monitor the contractors who supply substandard food”.