Berhampur, Nov 2 (LocalWire) The right to food campaign activists have expressed displeasure over denial of rations to more than 20 families in Gautami gram pachayat of Ganjam district for alleged open defection terming the move as an attack on the constitutional rights of the citizens.
“Right to live with dignity is meaningless unless the right to food is ensured”, the Supreme Court had said in a judgment in November 20001, said Rajkishor Mishra, former state advisor to Commissioners of Supreme Court on Right to Food.
Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) denial of ration to any eligible beneficiary amounts to violation of one’s constitutional rights.
They urged the rural body to revoke the decision and ensure food for all and requested the district administration to intervention in the matter.
Goutami panchayat has recently decided to stop ration to the families, if any member was found to be relieving in the open, particularly on road sides.
The ration provided under public distribution system (PDS) was stopped to over 20 families of the panchayat for the reason this month, sources said.
‘The move is aimed at creating awareness among the people to use toilets and maintain hygienic condition in the panchayat”, said panchayat sarapach Sushant Swain stating villagers have been asked to built toilets in their house in next two months for which they will be provided money from Swatchh Bharat Mission (SBM).
As many as 180 houses in the panchayat have been found to be without toilets.
Bhala Chandra Sarangi, a peasant leader said the panchayat can adopt some other methods to motivate the people for use of toilets but should not deny them their right to food. The aim of the right to food act is that no one should die of hunger, he said and demanded withdrawal of the decision.
Ganjam collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said no eligible family would be denied ration under Food Security Act and he would discuss the matter with the bock development officer and panchayat body soon, he said.