NEW DELHI: The Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA) wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressing concern over subsidized rations not being distributed at shops in the month of May.
The campaign said that this was adding to the economic distress of people who had lost their sources of livelihood during the lockdown. The delay in distribution of rations was forcing people to buy food grains in the open market at non-subsidised prices.
The campaign highlighted the need for ensuring food security for people, including migrant workers, daily wagers and other vulnerable groups, who do not possess ration cards. Last year, the Delhi government had distributed food grains and other essential commodities to nearly 60 lakh people without ration cards who were affected by the lockdown.
The DRRAA demanded that the government immediately start the distribution of subsidised food grains and essential goods to those who are not covered under the Public Distribution System of the National Food Security Act.
"We are shocked to note that despite the first week of May coming to an end, ration distribution for the month has not started in any of the ration shops. This is alarming as Delhi is in the third week of lockdown. Those who have lost their livelihood are dependent on the foodgrains provided under the PDS to feed themselves and families," said the letter.
The scale of distress among workers was immense, the DRAA pointed out with the campaign and other groups having received SOS requests of foodgrains from more than 10,000 people. "It is inexplicable why the government has not revived the e-coupon scheme, under which last year 60 lakh people who did not possess ration cards were provided with foodgrains," the letter said.
It urged the government to set up hunger relief centres near construction sites, homeless shelters, bus stops, outside hospitals, train stations, and start an effective hunger helpline.
'Provide three meals a day at shelter homes'
A PIL in the Delhi High Court on Friday urged it to direct the urban shelter improvement board, DUSIB, and the Delhi government to provide three meals a day to the homeless in all the shelter homes in the national capital during the prevailing pandemic and the resultant curfew.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Delhi government and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) seeking their stand on the plea by Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM)