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National Food Security Act disobeyed at Saintala, Odisha

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National Food Security Act, 2013 on 10th September, 2013 with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity. The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population. The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 1 per Kg for rice grains. The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kgs of food grains per household per month.

The National Food Security Act also has a special focus on the nutritional support to women and children. Besides meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000. Children up to 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards. In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance. The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. Separate provisions have also been made in the Act for ensuring transparency and accountability.

But the Act has been disobeyed at Saintala block of Balangir district. According to the information, in Saintala block of Balangir district all panchayats were gheraoed, locked, and Aanganwari workers were attacked.

Now after a long time, the block administration has suddenly become active. The block administration has reported the police about non- eligible ration card holders in written.

The police sources has informed, the Saintala BDO Rabindranath Kahanar vide letter number 1151/08.06.2016 has complained to the police that Basanti Panigrahi, Village – Bargaon, Panchayat- Bhadra, Basanti Thapa, Village – Barahmal, Sabitri Rana, Sebati Rana, and Multa Rana Village- Chanchada, Panchayat- Karamtala, having doubled floored building and not eligible for ration cards.

According the complaint of the BDO, the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, Sunil Soren has started investigating the matter with reference to Case No. 122/16 and charged 417, 467, 468, 471 of IPC.

According to the provisions of the National Food Security Act ration cards were provided to poor. But many people who are not eligible have grabbed it. And the real beneficiaries are out of the scheme.

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