Non-profit organizations in Delhi, including Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) and Network Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN), have written to Arvind Kejrival government due to lack of PDS grain in grocery stores despite government promises free ration for all cardholders during isolation.
On Friday, SWAN wrote to the Chief Minister: “Inspection of PDS stores by various civil society organizations showed that since PDS stores were closed until mid-May, even those with food ration cards in Delhi were unable to obtain their rights. The Delhi government order from May 14 on food distribution under the National Food Security Law also does not mention cardholders who do not have food cards. Given that the majority of our calls are temporary migrants, it is unlikely that they have a Delhi government food card. In the absence of government intervention to address the growing disaster among workers in the city, civil society was forced to intervene. However, with limited resources and reach, this is a drop in the ocean.
A senior Delhi government official, explaining the delay in the distribution of rations, said: “The grain came from the Food Corporation of India, which is now under the control of NFSA and PMGKAY. The distribution started today (Saturday). “
On May 7, Delhi Rosi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan also wrote to Kejrival about the unavailability of rations for both cardholders and cardholders in Delhi. “We visited nearly 70 grocery stores located throughout the capital and were shocked to learn that although the first week of May is drawing to a close, the distribution of monthly rations has not yet begun. This is alarming as Delhi is in its third week of isolation. Those who have lost their livelihoods depend on PDS food grains to feed themselves and their families. Due to the delay, people are forced to buy grain on the open market at unsubsidized prices. ”
Only on Friday, May 14, the Delhi government adopted a directive to distribute free rations under the NFSA and PMGKAY during May and June, even as Kejriwal said ahead of the announcement of the first lockdown. in April, migrant workers do not need to return home.
The order read: “Named food grains under the NFSA in May 2021 will be provided free of charge to all eligible recipients of PDS @ 04 kg of wheat and 1 kg of rice per recipient per month to PR and PRS cardholders and 25 kg of wheat and 10 kg of rice and 01 of sugar per household for AAY cardholders. In addition to the above eligibility for May 2020 under PMGKAY-III, 05 kg of additional cereals, i.e. 04 kg of wheat and 01 kg of rice for each beneficiary participant will also be distributed free of charge to all PDS beneficiaries (PR, PRS and AAY) ”.
Anjali Bharadwaj, a social activist for SNS and associated with the Delhi Food Right Campaign, said: “According to Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, as well as promises from the Delhi government, the Delhi ration card holder is entitled to 10 kg of grain under the PDS in May. June 2021 for free. For holders of 72 lakh ration cards, this is a great lifeline. However, it was not until Friday, a few weeks after the quarantine, that the Delhi government issued an order for its distribution. This did not happen at all. Today we will be monitoring grocery stores to see if they are being distributed. ”
may 13 Supreme Court of India sent to governments Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are responding to the application, proposing means and measures by which they should alleviate the suffering of stranded migrant workers, as well as provide them with rations, appropriate transportation and equip public kitchens in the metropolitan area.
Bharadwaj said those without ration cards should also be included. “Last year, migrant workers were insured under the electronic coupon scheme. The High Court ruled that no one should stand aside and everyone should be given rations, even if they do not have cards, ”Bharadwaj added.