National Human Rights Commission member K.R. Venugopal has expressed concern over food subsidy getting diverted, denying the benefits of public distribution system to the targeted sections.

Addressing the State conference of Andhra Pradesh Rytu Coolie Sangham of the CPI (M-L) here on Tuesday, the retired IAS officer said that though the country had achieved significant progress in food production, millions still go hungry for want of purchasing power. To help such people, the government devised the public distribution system to supply food grains and other essentials on subsidy. As the subsidy was getting diverted, the purpose of public distribution system had been defeated, he felt.

Chairman of Tarimela Nagi Reddy Memorial Trust Surya Sagar said that many people did not have basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter even 63 years after Independence. He felt the need for poor to launch another struggle to get their due.

Tribals' struggle

Andhra Pradesh Rytu Coolie Sangham president Jhansi was in the chair. She explained the salient features of the struggle launched by Kafi Mulaya Adivasi Sangham in Koraput on the borders of Andhra and Orissa. The tribals were fighting for their rights facing arrack mafia, landlords and government repression. She exhorted all progressive organisations to express their solidarity with the tribals. The tribals gave cultural performances in their native Kuya tongue.

The conference would end on Wednesday after electing the State body.

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