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The Right to Food Case KEY ISSUES: Converting all existing schemes into entitlement Making the Right to Food a Fundamental Right Tackling large scale malnutrition.

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Presentation on theme: "The Right to Food Case KEY ISSUES: Converting all existing schemes into entitlement Making the Right to Food a Fundamental Right Tackling large scale malnutrition."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Right to Food Case KEY ISSUES: Converting all existing schemes into entitlement Making the Right to Food a Fundamental Right Tackling large scale malnutrition and chronic hunger Securing employment as a fundamental right linked to the Right to Food Longest mandamus on the Right to Food in the World 55 Interim Orders so far; more than 500 affidavits; nearly 75 Interim Applications

2 Eight food-related schemes (1) The Public Distribution System (PDS); (2) Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY); (3) The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, also known as mid-day meal scheme; (4) The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); (5) Annapurna; (6) The National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS); (7) The National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS); (8) The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS).

3 Public Distribution System

4 PDS….. Distribution System (PDS) is one of the oldest food subsidy programmes in the country. Rationing was introduced in 1939 by the British Government and the basic framework for the PDS was firmed up in 1942. Most recent change was the introduction of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in 1997

5 Public Distribution System Five Categories of Cards under the PDS: 1. White 2. Red 3. Yellow 4. Antodaya 5. Annapurna Only the Yellow, Antodaya and the Annapurna card holders have a right to this scheme (SC)

6 TPDS…… Made a distinction between the BPL, Antyoday and APL families. Entitlements - Distributing food grains and other basic commodities like kerosene and sugar at subsidized prices through fair price shops. Every family is supposed to have a ration card. Each category (APL,BPL,AAY) are entitled to 35 kgs of grains per month but the price is higher for APL households.

7 Cont………. BPL families should get wheat@5 Rs per kg and Rice @6.50Rs per kg. Antyoday families should get wheat @ 2 Rs per kg and Rice @3 Rs per kgs. Gram sabhas in rural areas and local bodies in urban areas carried out identification from amongst the poor families and Poorest of the poor in rural and urban areas are issued special AAY ration cards.

8 Supreme Court Orders Identification of BPL an AAY beneficiaries- BPL identification must be completed by Jan 02. Possession of a BPL card is not necessary for inclusion in AAY Accountability of PDS dealers- Licenses of PDS shop keepers should be cancelled if they don't keep their shops open through out the month. Keep the Ration cards with them. Make false entries in the ration cards. Engaged in black marketing of grains. Hand over the shop to the other person/organization. Fail to provide grains to BPL families and BPL rates.

9 Other Rules regarding Ration Receipts must be given. Can take as much as one needs but not more than the maximum quota. The ration shop owner should display important information outside his shop Ration Vigilance Committee under the Presidency of the Sarpanch should meet once every month.

10 Complaint Book - Each ration shop must have a complaint book. - The Book should be displayed in a place where all can see. - Signature, name and ration card number must be mentioned with each complaint. The Rationing Inspector has to regularly check this book.

11 Getting Your Rights Rights are not given. Insist on Your Rights. Go in a group and demand your full ration. Make use of the Complaint Book. Complain to the Tehsildar Complain to the Collector Supreme Court, Commissioner etc.

12 Cont…….. Problem of Misidentification – The state government should make a clear guidelines for proper identification of BPL. Coverage of Vulnerable Categories- These groups should be placed in AAY Categories- Aged, infirm, disabled, destitute men and women, pregnant and lactating women, destitute women; Widows and other single women with no regular support; Old persons (aged above 60/65yrs) with no regular support or means of Subsistence. Household were due to old age, lack of physical or mental fitness, social customs need to care for disabled, or other reasons, no adult member is available to engage in gainful employment. PTGs – Primitive tribal groups

13 Cont……. State govt. should formulate the scheme to extend the benefits of AAY to the destitute persons. State govt. should ensure that these section should included in AAY All ration shops must open 26 days in a month during fixed hours, the details of which will be displayed on the notice board. State govt. should provide grains free of cost to those who are so poor that they are unable to lift the quota. Permission to buy in installments- Families should get the ration in installments. Awareness generation- Awareness generation so as to make BPL families aware of their entitlements.

14 Cont……. Food grain entitlements - BPL should be eligible for 35kgs of Food grains per month. AAY card holder should also get 35kgs of food grains per month. BPL list – Orders relating to BPL list are also relevant to PDS. The central and Sate government have been directed to frame a clear guidelines for proper identification of BPL.

15 Some Facts in Indian Context 58 per cent of subsidized food grains does not reach the BPL families, 22% reaches APL and 36% sold in black High cost of handling, for one rupee transfer to the poor, the Gol spends Rs.3.65 Only 57% of the BPL households have ration cards FPSs are not viable, they remain in business through leakages Homeless often do not have ration cards Some families have more than 1 BPL card ( even five) Discrepancy with regard to number/members

16 What to Check Does the PDS shop open through out the month at prescribed time. Does all the families in the village have ration cards. Are the ration cards kept with shopkeeper. How is the quality of food grains? Are the rations given in installments? Whether the per month ration is less than 35kg? Number of BPL and Antyoday card holders in the village. Are the rates charged higher than prescribed rates.? Did the beneficiaries complain that they have to pay bribes to receive the BPL/AAY cards. Is false entry made in ration cards? Whether the BPL survey or the process of identification of BPL/AAY is true? Check whether the PTGs, disabled persons, Pregnant and lactating mother, old age and destitute, widow etc have been given the AAY

17 Find out what is happening In your area regarding the implementation of SC order. Surveys and informal enquires can be done for understanding the situation. Involve the gram sabha and all concerned persons of the village in the enforcement of SC orders. In case of any violation of the SC order starts at local level. If it does not work try to approach the concerned officers. If case of no responses approach the Collector because collector is bound to register your complaint under the SC order. The public hearing is one of the good option to draw attention of the public as well as the government. If no action was taken on your complaint move to the advisor of the SC. Redressal mechanism

18 Right to Information The Right to information can be a very powerful tool to get your rations. Learn how to use this tool effectively.

19 Under RTI ask for: * the daily progress made on your application, * names of the officials who were supposed to act on your application and * what action would be taken against these officials who have delayed. You could also ask for ac copy of their service rules.

20 You can also ask for copies of the following registers specify the months here, for which you want the records) for shop No _______: Card Register Daily Sales register Inspection register Monthly stock register Daily stock register

21 RTI (cont)…. After you receive these records, you should do a physical verification of what is written in records by talking to the people and by looking at their ration cards

22 Check Cash Memos under RTI Ration shop owners produce false receipts by fake thumb impressions before the government. You can also ask for the details of ration issued to you as per records and also copies of cash memos purported to have been issued to you.

23 Interim Orders The Supreme Court has also passed orders regarding the cancellation of shops when they do not comply with norms laid down.

24 For those applying for the card for the first time …. 1. In the villages the enquiry is done by the Talathi 2. You also have to produce a proof of residence, 3. Those below 16 years have to produce their birth certificates

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