01 November 2012

Update On Food Campaign

As part of action on rotten rations, Krishna Krishi Kalyan Samity (KKKS) members conducted a raid in one of the fair price shops at Pubong, Gairidura in Darjeeling district. The ration dealer here had been distributing poor quality ration and was selling off the good quality ration on the outside market. It was also found that the ration, which the shop receives from the Pubong Tea Management, was also adulterated and poor quality foodgrain was distributed to the tea garden workers.

The villagers handed over the samples of the shop to the Food and Supplies Department. With the help of police, officers from the Food & Supplies immediately sealed the shop and have confirmed that that the license of the owner will be cancelled.

At another place in the same district, within the vicinity of the earlier fair price shop, ration cards were with the shop owner since 1986. The shop owner informed the media that the cards were in the fire in that year, but inquiries revealed that the shop still received rations for 1,340 cards. The villagers have not been able to access other government schemes as they were without their ration cards. Several visits to the Food & Supplies office had no results. They met the C.I. who assured he would look into the matter immediately and inspect the shop and check the registers with allocation.

On 10 October, members from West Bengal Right to Food Campaign met the District Magistrate, Darjeeling. A copy of the signature campaign (which was collected in the month of July 2012) was submitted along with a memorandum stating the local grievances. The officer-in-charge from the Food & Supplies department was also contacted, who said that the problem of ration distribution to deserving families could be solved only when the false cards were cancelled in the district.

In Malda, Malda Sahayogita Samity undertook a whole day campaign recently. Three Gram Panchayats were covered with public meetings at bus stops and bazaars.

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