सोमवार, 15 जून 2015

Discontinuation of Emergency Feeding Programme in Odisha

Discontinuation of Emergency Feeding Programme- 
A Threat to food security of the old, infirm and destitute in KBK region of Odisha

As it is well-known, KBK region (un-divided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi districts)  is the  most underdeveloped, backward  and drought-prone region  with more than 80% of the people  coming under BPL category.  Every time, Mass media highlights  the plight  of the  people  and their suffering from hunger, starvation and malnutrition in this region. Keeping it in view,  the Govt.  undertakes a number of food security programme and special  project  to ensure  food security of the poor.  Emergency Feeding programme is  one of them.  This programme   is being implemented since 1995-96 to provide hot cooked meal to the old, infirm and destitute old persons who are on the verge of hunger due to acute poverty. This cooked meal is  being supplied to 2 lakh beneficiaries through Anganwadi centre.  It is totally central-sponsored scheme under the Special Plan (RLTAP) helping a lot to the older persons  to get free from hunger.  As per the  information obtained through RTI from the Dept. of Child  and Women Development,  the Central Govt. was providing  around  Rs. 35  crores  and  18000.00 MT rice every year  to provide free meal  to the beneficiaries.

On 17.04.2015, the  Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Dept. of Women and Child Development, Govt. of Odisha  has written a letter to all the Collectors of 8 districts to discontinue the Emergency Feeding Programme  in 8 KBK districts due to Central Govt.’s  decision to stop  supply  of subsidised rice for the said programme. Now the two lakh old, infirm and destitute who always live on the verge of hunger will  be deprived to get  meal and  continue to suffer.  The discontinuation of the programme will no doubt pose serious threat to their life and livelihood. Even if these people will be covered as eligible household under National Food Security Act (each eligible person is entitled to get only 5 kg rice per month), it will no way help them to survive free from hunger.  Secondly, the provision of Rs. 300.00 pension per month to these families under various pension schemes is not enough to fulfil their hungry belly. As the poverty is acute, the poor people require special kind of support for livelihood.

As per the information obtained through RTI,  the central Govt. bears around 75 crores  (it includes  the cost of 18000.00 MT rice)  for running this programme. The said amount is not the big amount for the state as the state Govt.  bears an additional cost of Rs.1400 crores  to provide one rupee rice  to the  BPL families  and  Rs. 5.00 meal ( Rs.15.00 is given subsidy per meal)  to the people in urban areas.  

On 13.06.2015, Right  to Food Campaign, Odisha  has written a letter to Chief Secretary, Odisha demanding allocation of Rs.75 crores to continue  this scheme  for the older persons in KBK region.

Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482

कोई टिप्पणी नहीं:

एक टिप्पणी भेजें