There is a need to set up community monitoring groups for various entitlements such as vigilance committee for ration shops, arogya raksha samitis for hospitals, school development and management committee for schools, said R. Manohar of South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring here on Tuesday.

He was speaking during the release of an election manifesto by the Civil Society Forum compiled by a collective of various non-governmental organisations.

Mr. Manohar stressed the need to set up community monitoring groups for better governance.

“In places where they exist, there is a need to strengthen them. Civil society members want to work with the State and its agencies in shaping government schemes,” he added.

The manifesto has a list of demands from various sectors — ranging from food security, housing, children’s rights, nutrition and health.

Stating that the economy was growing and so were socio-economic disparities, Mr. Manohar said, “Basic rights and entitlements such as food, water, education and health should be universalised. Budgets for universalising this should be estimated realistically and earmarked and implemented through a law.”

Some of the other demands include implementation of the A.J. Sadashiva Commission report on internal reservation for members of the Scheduled Castes, enforcement against sex-selective abortion and infanticide and strengthening the ICDS system so that it benefits malnourished children, and pregnant and lactating mothers.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) K. Prakash, secretary of the Bangalore district party unit, pointed out that there was a need to bring in a rule for land use policy. Apart from that, there was a need to stop contract labour.

Meenakshi Bharath of Lok Satta Party, Janata Dal(S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu and Sumit Negi of Aam Aadmi Party were present.

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