Ludhiana, July 31, 2012: A jatha of 500 persons of Communist Party of India (CPI) Ludhiana led by Kartar Singh Bowani – District Secretary, D.P.Maur – Assistant Secretary, Ramesh Rattan – City Secretary left for Delhi today to participate in the dharna for food security to all.
The left parties including CPI, CPI (M), RSP and Forward Block are organising a dharna from 30th July to 3rd August at Jantar Mantar New Delhi to highlight that food security and clean drinking water to all is the duty of the governments and these are the basic human rights of every citizen. On each day of the dharna comrades from different states will participate. The CPI Punjab unit will stage the dharna on 1st August. In all 5000 comrades from Punjab will participate on that day.
Before departure a rally was organised at the railway station. Various speakers while addressing the rally said that despite tall claims of growth by the government 380 million citizens of our country people of our country suffer from hunger and malnutrition. With the present rice in prices 150 million more are expected to face the same fate. Women and children are the worst affected. 60 million children are malnourished with low weight. India has over 160 million hectares of fertile land, which is more than China. But as per the government own reports 2,50,000 farmers have committed suicide during the period 1995 to 2010.
The UNO had accepted right to food as the basic human right of every citizen in 1948. This was further accepted by the nations including India in a world food summit in 1996. The Centre now proposes to place a half backed food security bill in the parliament. This bill instead of bringing universal public distribution system splits the society into the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL). A person falls in the category of BPL if she/he earns Rs.26.00 per day in rural and Rs.32.00 per day in urban areas. If this definition is accepted then 54% of population from rural and 72% from urban areas will be left out of any benefits to be provided by government. This is a mockery.
Leaders observe, it is an irony that the government is planning FDI in retail sector instead of providing food, clean water and shelter to crores of Indian citizens.
Cheap and quality ration be supplied to all the citizens through a Public Distribution System and not BPL or APL. Ration should be provided instead of Cash Coupons. No to FDI in retail, put a check on the hording of food items, eery family should be given 35kg of grain at Rs.2.00 per Kg., the erroneous definition of BPL – APL as given by the planning commission should be rejected, Swminathan committee’s report on farmers should be implemented and clean drinking water should be ensured to all the citizens.