Food Security Bill: We must do it, whether we have the resources or not, says Sonia Gandhi

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UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi speaks on the Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday during ongoing monsoon session. PTI UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi speaks on the Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday during ongoing monsoon session. PTI
SummaryIt is time to send out a big message... goal is to wipe out hunger and malnutrition: Sonia Gandhi

"I believe that we must, together, rise to the occasion, set aside our differences and affirm our commitment to their welfare and wellbeing," Sonia Gandhi said.

"It is my fervent hope and my humble appeal that we, as representatives of those very people, should convert this Bill into an Act and do so, unanimously," she said.

Sonia Gandhi said while some sections have got fruits of economic prosperity which is a matter of happiness, some sections are still deprived.

"Now the big issue before us is, what is the responsibility of government towards these people who are less fortunate than others. It is not their fault but they still live with the curse of hunger and malnutrition," she said.

The Food Security Bill is the fifth in a series of steps to provides legal entitlements to people, which puts pressure on the executive to be more responsive and accountable, and also puts in place credible mechanism to redress grievances.

"This approach, I believe, is bringing about an empowerment revolution in our country - something we are proud to have facilitated," Sonia Gandhi said.

Looking back at ten-year-long UPA rule, Gandhi said, the Government brought the Right to Information law in 2005, which has ushered in an unprecedented transparency in public life, "sometimes, to our own disadvantage".

"A little later that year, the Right to Work, Mahatma Gandhi NREGA became a reality. This has provided employment to one in four rural households in the past seven years and has led to increased rural wages," she said.

In 2006, the path-breaking Forest Rights Act came into the Statute Book. This has benefited lakhs of tribal and other families who have traditionally relied on forest for their livelihood, she said.

In 2008, the Right to Education came into being. "This has already led to a sharp increase in enrollment in schools," she added.

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