Protest against Delhi government ‘inaction’ on starvation deaths

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Hundreds of people from across the capital gathered at Delhi Secretariat on Friday to protest the “inaction” of Delhi government to form rules which would prevent deaths from starvation.

The protesters, led by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA) NGO, held posters showing photographs of the three minor girls who died due to non-availability of food in east Delhi’s Mandawali neighbourhood.

Anjali Bhardwaj of the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA) said that the state government is responsible to conduct social audits and establish a “state food commission” so that all anganwadis and ration shops could be monitored.

“Under the National Food Security Act, the Delhi government is responsible to form a state food commission which would cover issues like non-availability of food, improper ration shops and people not getting ration cards,” Bhardwaj, an advisor to the NGO told IANS.

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But, she said, the government has not done anything to prevent deaths by starvation. “There are no rules under the food security act, no food commission, no social audits and on top of that, 2.9 lakh ration cards have been cancelled without proper verification,” she added.

The NGO also conducted a survey of 56 families in Mandawali on August 20 this year.

The survey revealed that 93 per cent of families in the area does not have ration cards, 41 per cent families say they are unable to afford adequate food and a family of seven said on many days they survive by only drinking black tea.

Bhardwaj said that the main reason these families did not have a ration card was that they “did not have the required documents or were not aware of the procedures.”

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“This situation could have been avoided if the government had conducted any social audit,” she said.

–IANS

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