NFSA a damp squib in Satyabadi of Puri

Puri: The much hyped National Food Security Act (NFSA), which aimed at creating a starvation free society, has utterly failed to reach its destination in areas of Puri district.

Even after government’s order to all district collectors to ensure ration cards for the genuine beneficiaries and exclusion of names of the financial upper classes, some needy and deserving people in Satyabadi block in the district are still struggling for a ration card under the Centre’s flagship programme.

A resident of Bishnupur under Satyabadi block Parbati Barik, who earns her bread and butter by selling flower bouquets in front of the temples, has implored the officials many times to inquire about her family condition and take action for a ration card. However, her appeal has fallen with deaf ears of the officials, she alleged.

“I have applied twice to avail a ration card under NFSA. But, I am yet to get the same. I have to buy rice from market at high price which is difficult for me to pay”, Parbati said.

OTV witnessed a similar scene at Balapur village in the block when it visited the cottage of Mamata Das.

Languishing under abject poverty Mamata, whose only sources of income is stitching broom from the coconut leaves, sometimes also begs to feed her kids. However, with the implementation of the Food Security Act, people believe that she must have availed the ration card and avoid her to donate hand full of rice, she said.

“Even if we can’t beg for daily bread and butter now-a-days as people are reluctant to donate. They started abusing us saying that you have been provided with ration cards. But, we do not have in fact” Mamata said.

Same injustice has been meted out to Saja Biwi of Taporania village in the block. The 42-year old woman, who lost her husband 16 years ago, works as maid in other houses to arrange food for her kids.

“I failed to avail government provided kerosene, sugar and rice as I have no ration cards. I have been struggling for last sixteen years since my husband’s death”, Saja Biwi said.

On the other hand, Food officials claimed that they have distributed 21,434 cards in the block as per the target. District Supply officer Santosh Mohanty assured to take action after March 31.

“The grievance petitions have already been examined and these will be uploaded in the website by March 31. After then, the remaining deserving beneficiaries can be ascertained. We will take measures accordingly”, Mohanty said.