The right to be free from hunger and malnutrition is a fundamental human right of every woman, man, youth and child. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family including food". The 1974 Universal Declaration on Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition has enunciated that "every man, women and child has an inalienable right to be free from hunger. Nearly 20 years later, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) developed these concepts more fully and it has also stressed that everyone has the right to adequate food. Right to be free from hunger is a fundamental right. In 2002 a set of guidelines have been adopted at UN i.e. Voluntary Guidelines on RTF to facilitate progressive realisation of RTF in the world.
The most basic human right of all, the right to food as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is not guaranteed to the majority of the world's peoples. Despite abundance in food production more than 850 million people remain hungry in the world of which 294 million hungry and malnourished people live in South Asian countries alone. The reality lies in the fact that 433 million in India survive on less than 1.00$ per day and that India has the largest number in the world's poor.