Skip to main content

Women's group refused permission for public meeting on Intrn'l Women's Day. Reason? Modi in Gujarat on March 8

By Our Representative
In a bizarre development, a Gujarat women's rights group working with backward sections, Shabri Sangathan, has been denied permission to hold a public meeting on the International Women's Day, March 8, to raise issues related with the failure of the state government to implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
Talking with newspersons on the issues the NGO proposes to raise at the meeting, Paulomee Mistry, who heads Shabri, said, “The police denied us permission orally telling us that Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi would be in Gujarat on March 7-8. They advised us, therefore, to hold our meeting on March 10.”
She added, women are the most affected sections because of the “failure” to implement food security, one reason why the organization decided to highlight it on March 8.
“Why should we celebrate the International Women's Day on March 10?”, Mistry wondered, adding, “We had announced our decision to hold the meet at the historic Dandi Bridge in Ahmedabad quite some time back. However, a poor women's organization is not allowed as cops will be busy with Modi”.
“Women have been told to come to Ahmedabad for the meet from all over Gujarat. They will be here. We will hold our meeting at the spot designated for it. There is no question of taking back our decision”, she insisted.
Mistry regretted, though it is four years since the NFSA was passed, the state government began implementing the Act on April 1 as Maa Annapurna Yojna only after a Supreme Court rap in February last year. "Even today, the Act is not being implemented properly", she alleged.
Mistry said, “The state government has still not prepared a list of antyodaya families who should get food from the ration shops on a priority basis. Besides, while the ration shops, which often open once or twice a month, do offer rice at Rs 3 per kg, and wheat at Rs 2 per kg, they do not offer the staple food of large sections of villagers, the so-called coarse grain (bajri, jowar), which should be offered at Re 1 per kg.”
“Women, who usually go and buy foodgrains from ration shops, suffer the most”, Mistry contended, adding, “The ration shops charge Rs 10 as coupon fees before they buy up ration. Many of them must travel between 3 and 5 km to reach the shops.”
Elucidated Himant Shah, an economist present at the media conference, “The current norm is to have one ration card within one three kilometres of distance. However, there are 17,052 ration shops in Gujarat both in urban areas. Gujarat has about 18,400 villages. It means, large number of villages do not have ration card.”
“Worse”, he added, “There are just eight ration shops operating under panchayats in Gujarat, while Gujarat has about 13,700 village panchayats. Under the panchayats Act, all ration shops should be run by panchayats. As for the rest, 2,700 ration shops are run by cooperatives, while the rest of them are privately owned.”
“The problem of food security”, said Shah, “could be solved if 50 per cent of the panchayats, having women heads, are given the charge of allowing women panchayat members to run ration shops, as women are the main stakeholders in food security.”
Said gender expert Chinmayee Joshi, “Poor widows particularly suffer the most because of poor panchayat facilities. They must get pension, which is a paltry Rs 750 per month, to get ration. Many widows complained to us that they get just Rs 400 because of corruption.”
“In Gujarat”, she said, “There are 1.52 lakh single and widow women who should be getting the Rs 750 pension, which is proposed to be increased to Rs 1,000 November 1. However, the eligibility for it is to get a below poverty line (BPL) card, which many women do not have. The pension is not offered to mothers who have a son above 21 years old.”

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.