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Large sections of poor are unlikely to benefit from extension of food grains scheme -Swati Narayan

-The Indian Express Expansion and universalisation of the PDS, pensions, cash grants and employment guarantee schemes in both urban and rural areas are essential to tide through these difficult times. The Prime Minister’s extension of free food grains for 800 million Indians till November is undoubtedly a relief. The granaries of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are overflowing with more than 100 million tonnes of food grains. But the economy has,...

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Forcing migrants to stay back in cities during lockdown worsened spread of coronavirus, study shows -Pavitra Mohan & Arpita Amin A doctor looks at the pattern of Covid-19 cases in Rajasthan. On March 25, India went into a nationwide lockdown that had been imposed with only four hours notice. The clampdown on travel resulted in millions of migrant workers being trapped in cities that, even at best of times, are hostile to their needs. Faced with Starvation and separation from families, lakhs of workers started walking or cycling hundreds of kilometres back...

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In this time of crisis, the most urgent imperative is to protect underprivileged families from Starvation -SY Quraishi

-The Indian Express There is an urgent requirement to put money in the hands of the impoverished to support them during the pandemic. This has been the refrain of the Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee. Further, the government must tighten the implementation of its critical schemes related to nutrition, food security and healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic is flaring up into a mass humanitarian crisis. Its foremost victim will be innocent children who have...

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That foodgrain stocks lie in public godowns while people are going hungry is a scandal -Dipa Sinha

-The Indian Express What is disturbing is that in the middle of the current crisis some are now calling for a massive downsizing of the PDS and a shift to cash transfers in place of foodgrains. The Public Distribution System has played an important role in providing relief to people in the aftermath of the national lockdown. With COVID-19 cases increasing and the economy continuing to be in a downturn, some corrective...

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Lockdown further impoverishes those who were living on the edges of existence even during normal times, finds a new report

A recent survey that was conducted through telephonic interviews among 1,405 respondents across the states of Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan and Jharkhand reveals the precarious conditions of workers nearly 45 days after the announcement of COVID-19 lockdown. The report entitled Labouring Lives: Hunger, Precarity and Despair amid Lockdown tries to understand the extent (and depth) of job loss and hunger 45 days after the lockdown. Hunger and...

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