शनिवार, 16 अप्रैल 2016

Mass Demonstration in front of Odisha Food Commission on Ration Card Issue

Mass Demonstration in front of Odisha Food Commission  demanding  quick disposal of  thousands of Complaint cases  pending  in Commission  and  allotment of Ration Card  to the deserving household of  poor, needy, disables, Homeless and Dalits and Tribals
Today on 16.4.16, A  good number of  Organisations  working on food security issues in the State    organised  day-long Mass Demonstration  and public protest  in front  of   office of State Food Commission,  Toshali Plaza,  Satya Nagar, Bhubaneswar  demanding  quick disposal of  more than 2000 complaint cases filed  in respect of  non-inclusion  of  deserving poor  families   in the list of Priority Household  and denial of Ration Card.  

When the State Govt. released  list of  Priority  Household in  Oct. 2015  in order  to  start the  implementation of NFSA,  the whole state  witnessed  hue and cry  and street   protest  by the poor, tribals and dalit  due  to exclusion of their name from the list. It is needless to mention here that due to huge corruption and irregularities and unholy alliance of the Govt. Officials with influential people, many rich, undeserving people of Ruling Party manipulated Govt. procedure and succeeded in enlisting their name in the Priority Household List. 

During survey conducted by the Govt. for identification of eligible Households, applications of lakhs of genuine beneficiaries i.e., poor, tribals, dalits were  rejected arbitrarily  citing   reason of monthly income of Rs. 10,000.00 , three whellers, Govt. employee which are false and misleading.  Finding the resentment among the poor after release of list of eligible Households, the State Govt. made appeal to the people to file complaints to concerned BDOs to get the ration card.  Though the people filed complaints in Block office, neither was it enquired nor Ration card provided.

When the Opposition political parties  and Civil Society Groups  raised  the issue of  non-constitution of State Food Commission,  the State Govt. abruptly  declared  in  second week of January, 16  designating State Information Commission as State Food Commission and  published  advertisement  fully functional of the  Commission.  Just after declaration  by the State Govt.,  the  Activist of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha  mobilised  hundreds of  the poor  people   having no ration card  to  file complaint  to State Food Commission under section 16 (6b) of  NFSA. To make their grievances redressed, thousands of the poor and deprived section of society knocked at the door of State Food Commission   by filling complaints seeking quick enquiry and order to appropriate authority to provide Ration Card.

 The information obtained through RTI in March  2016   brought to limelight the precarious condition of the Commission.  Though around 1000 complaint cases has been  filed within period of 3 months, the Commission has just  issued notice to the concerned Collectors on 200 cases. Though three months have passed, the Commission has not been able to dispose a single complaint case.

A four-member delegation of Civil Society Groups Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi,  Sri Soumya Ranjan Pradhan,  Sri  Nirmal Samal, Sri  Kalandi Mallik submitted a memorandum to Sri L.N.Patnaik, designated State Food Commissioner  and appealed him to take quick step to dispose the cases. He expressed his helplessness to dispose the case, as there is no man power  top deal these cases in the Commission.

Around 200  people   had participated in the demonstration organised  under the leadership of Pradip Pradhan,  State  Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha, Sri Kalandi  Mallik, Samajik Samata Abhijan,  Sri Soumya Ranjan Prdhan, Open Hand Organisation,  Sri Pratap Sahu, Sanjay Sahu, Sachikant Pradhan. Sudhir Mohanty, Advocate, Odisha High Court,  Ananta Swain, Nirmal Shamal, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Jhunarani Sahu, Menaka Kinnar etc.

Pradip Pradhan

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