Bewildering Biodiversity – A Success Story of Food Security for Indigenous Peoples in India
– The 2013 National Food Security Act of the Government of India seeks, according to its preamble, to “provide for food and nutritional security by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people”.
Despite rapid economic growth and gains in reducing poverty, India has with among the highest levels of hunger and malnutrition in the world.
Although the National Food Security Act is crucial for the poor, it is especially critical for the persistently excluded and Indigenous Peoples of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as the Irula tribal community in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, a state in northern- eastern India.
The Biodiversity Act 2002, the National Disaster Management Act 2005, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, the Forest Rights Act 2006, and the Food Security Act 2013 have helped the near starving indigenous community of Irulas overcome lack of livelihood and food security, and has helped in augmenting conservation of biodiversity.
“A very important change which has taken place in our country in the last ten to fifteen years… is shift from reappraisal approach to rights approach. The Right to Food. The Right to Education. The Right to Employment. The right to your biodiversity” said Prof. Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, universally known as “Indian Father of Green Revolution” for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India and former member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament.