Activists protest against food security bill

food security
New Delhi, Mar 5: Calling the national food security bill as piecemeal, diluted and minimalistic, civil society activists Tuesday said the proposed legislation restricts people's entitlements and is devoid of any accountability.

Hundreds of protesters led by Right to Food Campaign, a conglomeration of social activist groups, staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi and said it did not ensure food security.

"The draft bill undermines the core issues of food rights of children, pregnant and lactating women by not guaranteeing them ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services)services through anganwadis," said Kavita Srivastava, national coordinator, Right to Food Campaign.

Seeking universalisation of the public distribution system, the activists from 20 states said that the government's draft bill had a provision of monthly cereal and foodgrain allocation was much less than the quantity specified by the Supreme Court.

"The bill undermines the core issues of food security, it leaves a large population out of the public distribution system by not universalising it," Srivastava said.

"It gives only five kg rice of foodgrain per person per month through PDS, which is only half of what is required on an average in a month, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research norms," said Srivastava.

An activist said the protest against the bill would continue till Mar 22 in three phases and include rallies and consultation with MPs.

Activists also criticised that the bill did not provide legal safeguards against genetically modified food.


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