BENGALURU: A prolonged lockdown will create additional distress and possible starvation among a vast section of India’s population, said writers, trade unions, professors, and activists, in a letter to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package leaves out a large section of people who may not be covered under various schemes, they added.
Writer Devanoor Mahadeva, National Secretary of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) Clifton D’Rozario, Historian Ramachandra Guha, theatre director and social activist Prasanna, Gram Seva Sangh members, Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development, individuals, and associations from educational and civic rights institutions across the state, came together to voice their concern.
In the memorandum, they highlighted some of the key measures related to food, income, and medical security, that the government can take through a bottom-up approach. Urging the government to provide basic rights of food and essentials to everyone, they demanded that every ward and village panchayat be given the resources and power to ensure food and shelter for all.
“Disaster Management Authority should be tasked with overall coordination at the district level and there should be the inclusion of civil society representation,” they wrote.
Universal allocation of food packets which can last a month, to households, irrespective of ration cards
Emergency relief grant of Rs 14,000 for April and May, for every household identified under NFSA and migrant or workers camps
Immediate transfer of remaining installment of the PM’s Kisan scheme
Three-month advance payment (for April, May, and June) to be given to each pension holder under NSAP on April 1, while also doubling the amount
Health camps and awareness camps in all slums and migrant worker centres
Protective gear, daily checkups, secure transport, mental health counselling for all frontline workers, including pourakarmikas and hospital staffers
Risk Allowance to be paid to all workers Helpline for people who need urgent medical aid (may include patients without caretakers (including senior citizens and people with disability) and those who do not own private vehicles
Declaring that there would be no demolition of houses or slum evictions