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 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. , A good number of Organisations working on food security issues in the State organised day-long Mass Demonstration and public protest in front of
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.