The Right to Food Campaigners launched the ‘Roti Bhaat Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday, demanding universalisation of the public distribution system (PDS) and other food security measures.
The agitation comes in the wake of the “inaction of the present government” towards food security for all, even as the government is working on a draft Food Security Bill.
“The draft food bill aims to cover about 75% of the population. Despite the Supreme Court directives, there has been no concerted effort to distribute excessive food grains in the sarkari godowns to the needy by the government,” a letter from the campaigners to the Prime Minister said.
“By expanding the coverage of the PDS, reducing issue prices, and reforming the delivery system, many states have greatly improved the PDS and lowered leakages. It is time that these efforts are taken to scale by universalising and strengthening the PDS across the country,” organisers said in a statement.
The steering committee of the Right to Food Campaign comprises Annie Raja (National Federation for Indian Women), Aruna Roy, Anjali Bhardwaj and Nikhil Dey (National Campaign for People’s Right to Information) and Colin Golsalves (Human Rights Law Network).
Through the ‘Roti Bhaat Satyagraha’, the Right to Food Campaign has demanded a universal PDS to ensure food security for the vulnerable and deprived; remunerative minimum support price for rice, wheat and millets to give farmers a decent income; removal of poverty ration based caps and entitlements including social security pensions for vulnerable groups – aged, single women and disabled person.