Skip to main content

Covid measure for better nutrition? Odisha PDS 'doesn't offer' enough dal to poor

Wall writing to propagate nutritional value of dal 
By Our Representative
An Odisha civil society report has revealed that despite the fact that the state government has been offering 1 kg of dal (pulses) per month to each family as a "covid elevation measure", 63% of the families families surveyed said the dal lasted between one and five days, while 27% of families consumed dal between six and 10 days.
While of 99.9% families agreed that dal has nutritional value, the survey, says a civil society note, people need dal from the government “as a nutrition supplement looking at the consumption trend”, insisting, “Access to and availability of dal is a challenge to people, especially in remote areas.”
Carried out to assess whether nutritional food security is being taken care of by the government’s publilc distribution system by NGOs Atmashakti Trust and its allies Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, and titled “Consumption of Dal and its Impact on nutritional food security in Odisha”, the survey, claimed the report, covered more than 10,000 families in 16 districts, among those are dominated by tribals, Dalits and other marginalised communities.
The report quoted the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2016 to say that there were 8.3 lakh live births in Odisha, of which more than 26,000 newborns did not survive their first 28 days of life, and more than 41,000 did not live to celebrate their fifth birthday. “Malnutrition of mother and child is a primary contributing factor for these untimely deaths”, the report insisted.
According to the report, “No doubt, the state has done improvement on the percentage of malnourished children under-5 in the state. Thus in the fourth National Family Health Survey (2015-16), 34.4% were found to be malnourished, as against 40.7% in a decade earlier (NFHS-3). 
However, it underlined, “The tribal communities still suffer the most. Almost half of the under-5 children from tribal communities in Odisha are underweight, and the stunting rate among them is 46%. Malnutrition is as high as 51.8% in Malkangiri district, while other tribal districts are way behind the state average in their performance.”
The report quotes panchayati raj institute (PRI) members as stating that the government should continue dal in PDS and include edible oil and iodised salt in its regular supply under the State Food Security Scheme which will benefit the people who cannot afford these commodities.
Thus, sarpanch of Korukudupa gram panchayat in Kandhamal district Pukuru Majhi said that the government must include dal, edible oil and the iodized salt under PDS as this will help the needy and poor to consume food that has nutritional supplements.
He has written a letter to the chief minister in this regard and hopes that the government would take immediate steps to include these in PDS. Premashila Nayak, a ward member of Bruhabadi village of Raikia block has also written a letter to the chief minister, urging upon the need to ensure nutritional food security for all.



Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”