Odisha: State level convention on right to food held at Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar: ‘All eligible households must receive ration card and food entitlements as mandated under National Food Security Act-2013’. ‘The government must take immediate steps to provide safe drinking water, facilitate agricultural reforms focusing on production, procurement, storage and proper distribution, making provision for pension for the elderly, widows, persons with disability, and other eligible individuals without targeting, providing work on demand and timely wages under MGNREGA and delink Aadhaar from all welfare schemes”.
These are the key demands raised by more than 200 community members, PRI members and civil society representatives in a state level convention on right to food held at Bhubaneswar on 28th and 29th November 2017.
The convention saw a range of speakers including Ms. Sashi Bindhani, Member of State Information Commission, Ranjan Panda, River & Water activist, Sangram Mallick, Dalit Rights Activist, Theophil Gamango of Indigenous People’s Forum, Bisakha Bhanja, Wateraid, representative of NAWO on 28th November. On the day two, Rangalal Jamuda, Chairperson, State Food Commission, Transgender activist Meera Parida, Prafulla Samantray, Green Noble winner heard the demands from the people.
The PRI members participated in the convention strongly opposed the linking of Aadhaar to PDS, Pension and other welfare schemes. Gramsabha must be empowered to monitor the implementation of food and other welfare schemes. Participants in the convention raised the demand for speedy recognition of individual and community forest land rights as per Forest Rights Act 2006 and special emphasis on the rights of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
The State Food Commission mentioned that the commission is trying its best to monitor effective implementation of National Food Security Act in spite of being understaffed. “The children and women who were deprived of Supplementary Nutrition support during month long AWW strike are entitled to received food security allowance” he added. Mahendra Parida, trade union leader spoke about living wages for all workers. In concluding session, Prafulla Samantra, said, “Food security has a strong linkage with economy and must be looked holistically as states responsibility.”

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