Maharashtra to identify stranded labourers for free distribution of food

The issue of migrants and stranded labourers came on the radar for the first time when the second wave of coronavirus gripped the nation. While the Supreme Court was seized of the issue concerning the National Capital Region of Delhi and bordering states, Maharashtra government has geared up its machinery for the free distribution of food grains to the labourers - mostly covered under the national food security programme (NFSP).

According to the office of the Rationing Controller and director for civil supplies office for Mumbai that covers Mumbai city and suburban district, Thane district and Navi Mumbai, at least 10 per cent quota of food grains meant for the free distribution is yet to be claimed.

As announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on April 13, the state government has undertaken various measures for free distribution of food grains- 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice to the families covered under NFSP and the families covered under Antyodaya Yojana can claim 35 kg food grains for fee during a month. According to Kailash Pagare, director of civil supplies, 90 per cent families covered under the NFSP were availing benefits of food distribution using online services. But still 10 per cent people are not connected with this programme currently.

In view of the pandemic and the state government’s commitment to provide food grains to needy families of migrants and labourers, the directorate of civil supplies had called a meeting of the NGOs on Wednesday to involve them to create awareness among them to lift their food quota. All the migrants and stranded labourers irrespective of their location and the place where the ration card is registered can take the benefit of the scheme.

Even if they are not registered for online services, they can approach the nearest ration shop. For this NGOs can help these beneficiaries to check the quota of food grains available for such families by using online services. The details have been linked under the one nation one card programme launched by the central government. The NGOs help will increase the awareness as well as utilization of the benefits, it was told.

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