Even as winter has approached the state of Uttarakhand, the people residing in 50 villages in the state perhaps would not have to bother about ‘food security’ as the World Food Programme (WFP)-supported ‘Grain Bank’ will be opened in the villages across the border districts.
Launched two years ago, Grain Banks are successfully running in 55 villages in three districts of Uttarakhand including in Dehradun, Tehri and Uttarkashi. Now buoyed by the success WFP has agreed for opening up 50 more banks in the villages of border districts like Pithoragarh and Chamoli.
“Grain Banks are jointly run by state government and WFP. These banks have so far helped several villagers in the three districts,” Subardhan, additional secretary (food and civil supplies) told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
According to Subardhan, 40 quintals of ration is provided to each Grain Bank. Women from the community manage these banks. Moreover banks store food at the village level. “Banks run under the unique concept of providing food for security. Villagers can borrow ration from the banks and return the quantity after the harvest,” revealed Subardhan. Interestingly, community heads are empowered to fix an interest rate on the food loan. “The idea behind levying marginal interest is to strengthen banks in the long run” said Subardhan.
It is known that many villagers in the state face the fury of the weather in the rainy and winter season when they are cut off for many days from the rest of the world.