The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has demanded that the Centre should ensure the passage of a comprehensive Food Security Act by making it a fundamental right.
Various units of the Federation across the country held dharnas and public meetings observing September 18 as “Demand Day”.
In the Capital, a protest meeting was organised in front of Krishi Bhavan. NIFW general secretary Annie Raja said: “Even after three years of its rule, the present Government has failed to get the Food Security Bill passed which it had promised to do within 100 days. The Government clearly lacks the political will and social commitment which is the only reason to justify this delay.”
She said the Bill prepared by the Government only talks of entitlement to food and not about food security. Ms. Raja noted: “As far the Centre is concerned food security can be achieved by distributing 25 or 35 kg of rice/wheat to a limited number of people. This narrow vision of the Government will deprive the real needy and the majority of people from food and nutritional security.”
A release issued by the Federation on Tuesday noted that the Centre instead of doing the sensible thing was now trying to limit even the existing entitlements of wheat and rice and also to dismantle the existing Public Distribution System by cash transfer.
Stating that the common man was reeling under the uncontrolled and escalating price rise, Ms. Raja said: “The Central Government has gone ahead and increased the diesel price which will lead to rise in the price of all essential commodities. We demand that a comprehensive Food Security Act be brought in, public distribution system be strengthened (by bringing back the old system of supplying all essential commodities through ration shops), a clean environment be ensured and nutritional security be guaranteed so that the high rate of infant and maternal mortality rate can be controlled.”