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Centre asks states to bring all left out disabled persons under the food security net | India News

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Centre asks states to bring all left out disabled persons under the food security net | India News 2

NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked state governments to focus on inclusion of persons with disabilities under the National Food Security Act 2013 so that those still out of the net can get the benefit of ration under the public distribution system. States have also been asked to collect data on disabled beneficiaries which can then be collated into a central database.
The union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution and the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPwD) under the ministry of social justice have written to states and union territories for identifying and enrolling eligible PwDs as per NFSA. They have also asked states to reach out with available ration stocks to persons with disabilities who are without ration cards and may not have been covered under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package that has a deadline of August 31.
While the food ministry sent out a letter on August 22, DEPwD secretary Shakuntala Gamlin followed up with a letter this week. Citing the letter from the union food and PDS ministry, Gamlin has asked all chief secretaries to involve the departments of food and civil supplies, health and family welfare and the state department dealing with PwDs to identify eligible beneficiaries who can be enrolled under NFSA in a time bound manner.
The department of food and public distribution of the union government in its letter to states reiterated that Atma Nirbhar Bharat package of the Central government is for the persons who are not covered either under NFSA or any state PDS scheme. In the August 22 letter it was stated that since this scheme would lapse on August 31 and only one week was left, states may identify such disabled persons who do not have ration cards and provide them ration.
“The scheme started in May and it was presumed that all eligible beneficiaries without ration cards including the disabled have been covered. However, it is understood that the ration lifted so far has not been utilised by the states for distributing to eligible beneficiaries without ration cards including the disabled,” it was pointed.
It is further reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana households. The ministry’s department of Food and PDS has also pointed that since persons with disabilities are a vulnerable section of society, it is imperative that they are also covered by states under the priority households as per the criteria of identification evolved by them. “Those not already covered by NFSA still should be covered with fresh ration cards,” it is emphasised.

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