CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Hunger In a Land of Plenty: The Benefits of a Rights-Based Approach to India's Mid Day Meal Scheme

Priya Shankar

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science; South Asia Studies

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Mary Summers

Date of this Version: 01 January 2009



In 2001, the Indian Government made the right to food a legal entitlement through various interim orders and legislation. It implemented the Mid Day Meal Scheme (or school lunch program) as a way of guaranteeing children this right. This study uses a general survey of how this program has been promoted by government officials and discussed by Indian scholars, as well as a more specific case study in two schools in the state of Tamil Nadu, to argue that the kind of “rights based approach” advocated in international human rights discourse for the implementation of such programs has largely been lacking in India. Children are given meals at school, but for the most part, little sense of their “right to food.” Interviews with children at a school where parts of a rights-based approach are used suggest that the approach does in fact engender greater understanding of rights and entitlements than occurs in schools where children do not receive such instruction.


Other Political Science

Suggested Citation

Shankar, Priya, "Hunger In a Land of Plenty: The Benefits of a Rights-Based Approach to India's Mid Day Meal Scheme" 01 January 2009. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 22 August 2011




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