Corruption Keeps Hungry Waiting

National Food Security system fails to provide for communities in Gairsson, Uttarakhand.

About the video: Corruption in food distribution leaves 400 Million people hungry in India. In Gairsson villagers are regularly suffering food shortages as the Public Distribution System (PDS) fails to provide adequate food provisions. As a consequence, the local distribution shops run out of food grains like rice and wheat and amenities like sugar and kerosene. The most underprivileged community who rely on subsidised food to feed themselves and their families cannot avail of the subsidies inspite of their ration cards. Like the shops, their stomachs remain empty.

The Community Correspondent says: Our Correspondent Laxmi Nautiyal from Gairsson village finds out: “The local godowns receive wheat and rice for the people in need, but due to irregular provisions cannot provide the public distribution shops. Just having the ration cards do not guarantee a meal and the people remain hungry. The government needs to invest into a better system to provide the food in time, so people do not need to stay hungry.”

The Issue: The failures of the PDS show the need to improve the countries infrastructure as well as to tackle corruption. Even if each family is eligible for 15 to 35 kg of rice or wheat every month, the average level of consumption of PDS grains in India is 1 kg per person / month. The system fails to secure basic right of food to the underpriviledged of the country.

PDS is controlled and organised by the central and the state governments. While transportation, storage and allocation of the rations are centrally organised, the distribution is controlled by the state governments in the Fair Price Shops. The scheme is criticised becuase there is very little monitoring and it is open to corruption. Dealers, for example, replace the food with inferior stock and sell the stock on the open market for higher prices. Because of this, nutrition becomes inaccessible and unaffordable to the people in need.

Call to Action: The people of Gairsson demand that corruption be stopped at its core to avoid hunger and malnutrition. They ask the government to arrange for an appropriate infrastructure and implement a monitoring system to ensure underpriviledged communities in remote areas receive their monthly rations in time.

Related Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Distribution_System

http://southasia.oneworld.net/opinioncomment/indias-pds-fails-to-ensure-food-for-all

http://www.hindu.com/businessline/2001/08/13/stories/041303mg.htm

http://fcamin.nic.in/dfpd_html/index.asp

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