Muslim group at Right to Food and Work Convention in Orissa
Press Note, 9th August 2010: A delegation of United Milli Forum (UMF), Jharkhand comprising of 8 people participated in the 4th National Convention on Right to Food and Work held from 6-8th August 2010 at Rourkela, Orissa. The convention was aimed to discuss the Food Security Act and its Determinants as well as incorporating the lessons learnt from implementation of the various food schemes and the Right To Work; to demand a universal Public Distribution System (PDS) and to reiterate the demand for universal availability of basic services like food, education, health, work and social security for all.
The convention was a mix of general plenary meetings and thematic workshops. Spread over three days, the convention had 22 parallel workshops in all, along with three general plenary sessions. The topics discussed during the convention covered a wide range of issues. The delegates of UMF actively participated in the workshops throughout the convention, apart from the plenary and the general body meeting. It seems worth to note that UMF was the lone Muslim group in the convention out of dozens of groups throughout the country.
In the general body meeting, Muzzafar Alam, a delegate of UMF, suggested a need for the text-materials of Right to Food Campaign to be prepared, or at least translated in Urdu as a vast majority of the Muslim community can be reached only through this medium. He also emphasized that the Campaign must try to expand its network among minority groups, especially Muslims, as it is one of most backward communities and socially excluded groups in India.
The suggestion had been well received and later came up in the concluding session as well. Meanwhile, many Steering Committee members of the Right to Food Campaign like Kavita Srivastava of PUCL, Annie Raja of National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) and Sachin Jain of Vikas Samvad, Bhopal assured the gathering that the same would be done at the earliest.
The matter was once again raised by Mahtab Alam, a volunteer of UMF, at the time of finalizing the resolution of the convention, in which he asked the Campaign to include Minorities in socially excluded groups like the Dalits and the Tribals. He also asked the Campaign to induct representatives of minority communities in the National Steering Committee of the Campaign. Both the matters have been incorporated in the resolution.For further details contact UMF at: 9470080098 / firstname.lastname@example.org