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Demand to amend food security Act to fight India-wide starvation deaths

By Our Representative
The Right to Food Campaign (RFC) has said that the recent spate of deaths shows the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is "limited in its vision and implementation", insisting, "It is currently not even able to ensure the minimum; which is that a person does not go hungry due to lack of food."
Releasing its demands before political parties, which will release their manifestos for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, RFC said, "The Act needs to be amended to expand its scope and also ensure that it prevents hunger (by including a section on starvation protocol) and also contributes to better nutrition status of the people (by including pulses, oil in PDS, eggs in schools and anganwadis etc.)."
Pointing out that the "elections are coming at the backdrop of regular reports of starvation deaths from different parts of the country" and "farmers protests", RFC said, there is a need recognise that the "current situation of hunger is a reflection of rural distress arising out of the agrarian crisis, poor employment and livelihood opportunities."
Noting that there is "failure of various social security mechanisms and the overall macroeconomic situation", one reason why it is inaisitng on "changes required in the NFSA framework", RFC said, "Currently, the NFSA is supposed to provide 67% of the population in the country with subsidised foodgrains (cereals)."
"However, it is seen that a number of deserving households (or some members of household) are excluded in many states due to identification issues as well as the caps placed on the number of ration cards (based on 2011 Census data)", it added. "In order to avoid these exclusion errors, the PDS benefits must be made universal for all residents".

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