IMPHAL, Sep 1: A two-day people’s convention on the right to food was opened today at the State Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak organized by the People’s Platform Secretariat, POs, CBOs, and NGOs.
The former convener of the PPS, L Inaocha while giving the keynote address said that the convention was organized to look into the distribution of the PDS items, and functioning of the maternity benefit scheme, ICDS, Mid-day meal, family benefit scheme, NREGS, and PMGSY.
The people of Bishnupur district declared that the BPL, AAY, APL schemes were not functioning properly and none of the items were provided to the card holders, according to the convener of the Social Action Platform O Nobin. The problem was more acute in the hills, according to the representatives of the hill areas.
In Senapati the cards are not available freely and to obtain one it is necessary to approach the agents. In the interior areas even this is not available, according to the MBSC secretary Elizabeth. The items are available at the market price and not at the subsidized rates fixed by the government under the schemes, she said.
In Chandel the items are available at the district headquarter only. Only a few people here have cards for the schemes. Very few people have availed of the facilities provided by the schemes. In Tamenglong there are no card holders at all, said residents of Tamenglong.
Representatives also said that the fact that the items were not available showed that the rights of the people had been denied and the officials were taking advantage of the situation.
They also said that the government should make all the items available as soon as possible.