India undergoing silent rights revolution as laws guarantee social services

by Rama Lakshmi

Indian child eating. The Indian government recently promulgated the National Food Security Ordinance 2013. The ordinance effectively activates the bill, but it must be ratified by Parliament within six weeks of its first sitting or else the bill will lapse. This bill, and other programs, are efforts to establish economic human rights for Indian citizens, an important development. Photo: Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press

DALKI SAHI, India — Three years ago, a group of parents in a remote tribal hamlet handed local officials a petition demanding a new school. Their children had to walk nearly two miles through farmland, forest and creeks to reach the closest government school although, they argued, India’s new Right to Education law entitled them to something closer.