Press Release | Status of implementation of the food security schemes and old-age pension scheme in Karnataka

April 15, 2020 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

PRESS RELEASE | BANGALORE, 12 April , 2020

  • PUCL feedback report on the status of implementation of the food security shemes and old age pension scheme in Karnataka shows several gaps
  • Government needs to address these gaps immediately , else issue of malnutrition will become worse

This to bring to the kind notice media with reference to the Writ Petition No. 6435 of 2020 (PIL) and Connected Petitions, the Hon’ble Court had directed the PUCL to get feedback from its volunteers about the implementation of what is stated in Clauses (i) and (ii) of para 20 of the compliance submission filed by the State Government, which pertain to ensuring provision of nutritious food to children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers, and the implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013. Food security for children, pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls derives from Article 21 as also specifically from sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 24, 30 and 32 of the National Food Security Act, 2013. A consolidated report on the above is attached to this mail for your kind information.

As per the directions of this Hon’ble Court, PUCL has requested its members as also other civil society organisations to assist in this task, consequence of which a rapid assessment seeking details of provision of entitlements covering 3 fields broadly – by Anganwadi centres, through the mid day meal scheme and through the Public Distribution System has been collected from 80 villages and cities across 20 districts, which is attached as Annexure – 1 for your information

Also the PUCL requested AIKYATHA, which spearheads a campaign for dignity to senior citizens to ascertain whether the senior citizens who are beneficiaries of one of the social security pensions have actually received the same. A copy of brief report prepared by them is also attached as Annexure – 2 for your kind information.

The report highlights gaps in the delivery of the schemes such as Anganwadis, Mid-day Meals, PDS system and senior citizen pensions.
While the food schemes themselves are functional and most people have received some sort of ration , it is not complete and importantly it will not last till the end of any extyended lockdown. Worrying children whoa re malnourished have not got the additional nutrition they need. Karnataka’s children already face a huge malnutrition problem. It may become worse because of the lockdown.

PUCL urge the government take appropriate action to ensure that all the beneficiaries get the full amount of food they are entitled too is required. Else, the health of the poor and marginalised will be severely affected.

Anganwadis
1. Children between 0- 6 years – Of the 80 villages/localities, anganwadi centres in 10 areas have not yet provided rations for children between the ages of 0-6 years. In the remaining, some ration ahs been provided but not the full qyanityt. The mandatory egg and milk has not been provided. Worryingly None of the respondents have found any attention being given the additional nutritional and health needs of children who have been identified as malnourished, which is a glaring omission

2. Pregnant women and lactating mothers – Some amount of ration is being provided in 75% of the surveyed areas only. Even with the 75%, they are not receiving the full amount

3. Adolescent girls – Shockingly, Only 13.75% of respondents stated that this was being provided. Shockingly, a large number of respondents said that adolescent girls had not received rations from anganwadi centres for quite a while

Public Distribution System
The PDS shops are distributing extra rice and wheat as thje government had announced, but there are several issues, such as –
Only rice and wheat is being distributed and no Dal, even though the central government announced that Dal would be distributed.
Access Issues remain : 10 of the respondents stated that shops are not ope, 5 respondents stated that shops were open but not providing ration ; Ration shop owners insisted on aaadhaar and OTP verification even though government said it is not mandatory ; Ration Shop owners force people to buy other times that they sell too

Mid-day meals
Delivery of rations to students under the mid-day meal scheme appeared to be more operational, with only 9 of the 80 surveyed areas reporting that rations through mid day meal schemes were not provided. The rations appear to have been given on various dates from mid-March onwards, with varying amounts of rations (with a rice base of between 1 – 3 kg) being provided.

Senior Citizens Pensions
This rapid survey has found that senior citizens are facing immense difficulties. Most Senior Citizens, who are dependent on pensions, do not have phones and, even prior to the lockdown had to make repeated trips to the Post Office/Banks to inquire if their pensions was deposited. The current crisis caused by Covid19 and the lockdown, has aggravated their situation unimaginably. They are the most vulnerable to Covid-19 due to their age and many pre-existing health conditions. Thus their movement is restricted, and their children or grandchildren too find it difficult to the bank/post offices repeatedly to verify their account due to movement restrictions. Importantly, the survey reveals that most have received pensions only for the month of January and February 2020 and are not sure whether the pension for March is deposited.
The copy of the momo submitted to High Court along with Annexures attached for your kind information.

Therefore, PUCL request you to cover the news in your esteemed newspaper.

Your Sincerely,
Prof. Y J Rajendra
President, PUCL –Karnataka
9449011530

Annexure:

Annexure – 1 AWC-MDM Survey Data conducted by PUCL (1)

Annexure – 2 Old Age Pensions Memo report on Supply of rations and senior citizens submitted to HC K

Press _Release_2020_Covid_schemes

Memo report on Supply of rations and senior citizens submitted to HC K

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