Moribund Odisha State Food Commission got Activated and functional due to intervention of Civil Society
In the first week of January’2016, the Civil Society Groups and Opposition Political Parties made scathing attack of State Govt. for its failure to constitute State Food Commission at State level and appoint District Grievance Redressal Officer at district level under section 16 and 15 of National Food Security Act. Then, the Department of Food Supply and Consumer Welfare, Govt. of Odisha disclosed a Notification of ( it was kept secret for 3 months in official file) for designating State Information Commission as State Food Commission and Project Director, DRDA as District Grievance Redressal Officer and released an advertisement about it . The advertisement published on carried a message appealing to the people to make complaint relating to violation of the Act in order to silence the opposition political parties.
After going through the advertisement, the Social Activists of Right to Food campaign along with more than 100 poor people visited to the office of State Food Commission, Toshali Bhawan, Satya Nagar, Bhubaneswar to file complaint about denial of Ration card. When the Team reached in the office of omission at , it was found that there was no such mechanism available to receive complaints. Even the staff of State Information Commission is also not aware about Govt. Notification. After a lot of protests and Dharana of two hours by the Activists demanding for receipt of complaint the staff of the Commission were forced to receive the complains and provide the receipt to the complainants. I personally filed complaints for 20 poor people who have been deprived to get Ration Card due to huge corruption and irregularities in the process of selection of beneficiaries.
In the meantime, around 1000 complaints have been filed due to effort of Civil Society Groups.
Today on , I received letter dt. from State Food Commission that the Commission have directed the concerned Collectors to redress the grievances and dispose the same .
Let us see how the poor people will get justice from the Commission.