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Provide emergency ration, food to people without ration cards: Petition in Delhi HC

By Our Representative 

The civil rights organisation, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA), in a petition filed in the Delhi High Court, has sought immediate provision of rations and cooked food to needy persons who do not possess ration cards in the light of the fresh curfew imposed in Delhi to curtail the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown-like curfew was first imposed over the weekend for two days and since the evening of Monday, April 20 has been extended till April 26, it said.
The petition said, the lockdown has resulted in loss of livelihoods which is causing intense financial distress and food insecurity among the economically weaker section, especially daily wagers, domestic workers, construction labourers, homeless persons and residents of slum settlements.
The distress can be gauged from the thousands of people turning up at the homeless shelters in Yamuna Pushta area seeking food. In the absence of requisite measures, many were turned away without any provision of food, it added.
Seeking the provision of dry rations for people who do not possess ration cards, either through resumption of Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayata Yojna or any other scheme, so that people do not go hungry during this time of crisis, the petition insisted on free cooked meals through all homeless shelters and through hunger relief centres set up for the purpose and ensure no one desirous of food is turned away without food.
To prevent exclusion of the most marginalised, the petition wanted setting up of helpdesks and kiosks to assist people, not covered under the public distribution system (PDS) scheme of the National Food Security Act, (NFSA) in availing dry rations.
Last year during the lockdown, the Delhi High Court on a petition moved by DRRAA had ordered that all persons in need of food security be provided rations irrespective of whether they possess a ration card (Order dated April 27, 2020 in W.P.(C) 2161/2017).
According to the petition, emergency food security provisions are required urgently to avert a hunger crisis in Delhi, underlining, only 37% of the population of Delhi possesses ration cards a large percentage of the poor and marginalised including migrant workers have been left out of the food security net.
Likely to be heard by the Delhi High Court on April 23, 2021, DRRAA is being represented by senior advocate Sanjay Parikh and Prasanna S.

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