PDS beneficiaries, workers face a double whammy in Odisha

Beneficiaries of food and income security in Odisha have been hit by the double whammy of lockdown and denial of ration and dues.

Published: 03rd July 2021 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2021 10:01 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Beneficiaries of food and income security in Odisha have been hit by the double whammy of lockdown and denial of ration and dues.The majority of these right-holders are differently-abled, aged or chronically ill persons, who require immediate support. There are lakhs of eligible individuals who are in dire need of food support and have applied for ration cards, but their applications are pending with the Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department. The PDS and pension beneficiaries are also being denied their entitlement due to lack of Aadhaar seeding.

Besides, labourers engaged in MGNREGS works are suffering a lot as 54 per cent (pc) of the wage payments is pending at the Central level. The non-timber forest products (NTFP) collectors are also forced to sell their produces at distress prices.Underlining the issues, Odisha Khadya Adhikar Abhiyan (Right to Food Campaign, Odisha) has appealed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to address Covid and lockdown-induced food and work crisis and strengthen the welfare schemes in the State.

The right to food activists have urged to do away with mandatory biometric or IRIS authentication provisions and provide ration to the eligible beneficiaries without Aadhaar seeding till the pandemic is over. “The block level officials should ensure that there is enough MGNREGS work sanctioned to cover as many habitations as possible. Panchayats should be allowed to add work up to Rs 10 lakh without having to use the Software for Estimate Calculation Using Rural Rates for Employment (SECURE),” co-convenor Sameet Panda said.

They have also urged the government to get the MGNREGS fund released from the Centre for clearing pending wages of workers and come out with a cash support initiative to help domestic workers and transgender community.“Steps should be taken for the migrant workers who have returned to Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts and need support in terms of seeds and fertilisers to initiate farming activities,” said another co-convenor Bidyut Mohanty and suggested to incentivise Covid vaccination by providing cash and ration in rural areas.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp