Right Based Approach

Has the rights-based approach to development, especially in the social sector, succeeded in India? Critically analyse. (200 Words)

In any democracy, the rights of the underprivileged need to be specially protected. India has followed the path of rights based social welfare policies to guarantee the social rights of the people. This framework is based on four pillars – Right to Information, Right to Education, Right to Work and Right to Food.
However, merely guaranteeing the Rights are not enough. What is even more important is how such legislations and policies are implemented. And there are few concerns there :
  1. While Right to Education became a fundamental right in 2002, the enabling act could only be passed in 2009. Even then it is criticised by a lot of people as it has a lot of loopholes.
  2. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 is a demand based legislation. It guarantees at least one person in a family 100 days’ work in a year. However, the performance has been dismal. On an average the government has only been able to provide work for 44 days to a person in a year.
  3. Right to Information is widely hailed as an important step in the journey to good governance by ensuring transparency. However, there is a huge pendency of cases before the information commission and it has no powers to enforce its decisions.
  4. The Food Security Act was a major legislation passed by the government in 2013. However, its implementation has been postponed thrice by the central government.
Dr BR Ambedkar had said “Rights are protected not by law but by the social and moral conscience of the society.” Thus, while legislation can be one part of social welfare, it must not be the only part.



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