Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Give food cover to ‘most vulnerable’, states told
The Centre offers subsidised grains to 800 mn beneficiaries, identified as foodinsecure, under the Food Security Act
The Centre has advised all states to launch special drives to issue ration cards under the National Food Security Act 2013 to vulnerable people, especially the homeless, ragpickers and labourers, in view of the pandemic so that they get access to subsided and free grains under various schemes in force.
A letter to all states from the Union food ministry on June 2 states: “There are several reports/grievances through Media, newspapers, NGOS, individuals stating that vulnerable and weakest sections of the society i.e. street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, migrant labours etc., who are in dire need of foodgrains, are unable to procure ration cards.”
“It is felt that some of the poor and needy people, who also may not have address proof, may be finding it difficult to obtain a ration card,” the letter added.
The federal advisory called for “special drive to reach out to the most vulnerable and economically weakest sections of the population in urban and rural areas”.
The government offers subsidised grains to nearly 800 million eligible beneficiaries, identified as food-insecure, under the food security Act. They are also eligible for 5 kg of free cereals for the month of May and June under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
Activists and analysts say lack of ration cards is a major hurdle for many food insecure people to access subsidised food.
Yet, India ranked a poorly