Sasaram: Sixty four years since independence, the country is still grappled with the clutches of poverty. In 1952 poet Nagarjuna wrote a famous poem ‘Akal aur Uske Bad’ which depicts story of poor family who fails to make both ends meet due to starvation. Sixty years down the line it is the same old story for the poor, but at present the main reason behind the miseries is the soaring inflation.

For lakhs of people living under such miseries, the Food Security Bill seems to be the lone ray of hope in the offing.

Therefore, they have pinned high hopes on the approval of the Bill in the Parliament. The proposed bill to be introduced in the Parliament in the Winter Session aims at providing food to every citizen in the country.

Once the bill is implemented, 45 percent and 80 percent of the rural and urban population respectively will get grains at subsidized rates. However, things are easier said than done as to meet the stipulated target the country has to produce 62 million tonne of grains. The PDS and proper storage of grains need to be strengthened. 

People of Sasaram in Bihar prefer grains to daily wages following the price rise.  Sweeper Ram Iqbal said, “I demand grain for cleaning drains as the daily wage is too scant to purchase food articles.”

Many people depend on the rations distributed under Below Poverty Line scheme.

According to the Sasaram Food and Supplies Department, 2, 60910 families are getting subsidized rice and wheat under the BPL category, while 52,493 poorest of the poor families are included under the Antyodaya scheme.

Sources said many people are still deprived of getting benefit of subsidized grains due to irregularities in the BPL list.

Sasaram District Supplies Officer Pramod Kumar said the more applicants would be given benefit of this scheme in the new survey.

Economist Dr Ramji Sahay said, “Irregularities have been surfacing in BPL lists in rural and urban areas. The leakage still persists in the Public Distribution System.”

(JPN/ Bureau)