Street dwellers, rag pickers among weaker sections to get ration cards on priority


Street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers and rickshaw pullers are among the weakest sections of population to be covered under NFSA ration cards expeditiously across the country in view of the current Covid-19 pandemic scenario– a move by the Centre to ensure maximum benefit to the vulnerable section of society.

The Centre has launched the special drive to issue ration cards and providing food grains to the weakest and vulnerable sections of the society.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution issued an advisory on Wednesday to all states and Union Territories (UTs) to launch the special drive to reach out to the most vulnerable and economically weakest sections of population under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and ensure coverage of all eligible identified persons.

Assuming importance in view of current pandemic scenario of Covid-19, it is directed to the states and the UTs to identify and issue NFSA ration cards to the most vulnerable and economically weakest sections in urban and rural areas, by utilizing the available coverage under their respective NFSA limits.

“States and UTs may be aware that during the current scenario pandemic of Covid-19, there are several reports and grievances through media, newspapers, NGOs, individuals stating that vulnerable and weakest sections of the society street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, migrant labours etc, who are in dire need of food grains, are unable to procure ration cards.

“It is felt that some of the poor and needy people, who also may not have address proof, may be finding it difficult to obtain a ration card.”

The operational responsibilities of identification of eligible persons and households under NFSA and issuance of ration cards to them rests with states and UTs, it said.

In view of the above, the order mentioned, all the states and UTs are requested to furnish a fortnightly status report to the department.