July 24, 2021 12:27:54 pm
“How will we feed our children?”: This is the concern that hundreds of people attending a public hearing on hunger and food insecurity organised by Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA) on Saturday had as many of them either do not have a ration card or their card has been cancelled.
People spoke about their difficulties in procuring ration, particularly since the lockdown earlier this year. Among those who shared their stories were daily wagers, construction workers and domestic helps. Many of them have been left unemployed after the second wave of Covid-19 and are struggling to feed their families.
Most had a common concern: feeding their children. “We will still manage but our children cannot go hungry,” a daily wager said.
Many of them added that they have applied for ration cards multiple times but their requests were not processed, while others complained that their ration cards had been cancelled.
Mamta, a labourer from Madanpur Khader, said, “My ration card got cancelled. At schools, where ration was being distributed for those without cards, I waited for two days but my turn did not come. So, I returned home empty-handed. I have small children who go to Anganwadi where they get ‘daliya’ and ‘channa’. I want them to have proper food like bananas and eggs.”
Kanta, a domestic help from Mangolpuri, lost her husband three months ago. She has two children and is currently without a job. Without a ration card, she has very few avenues when it comes to ration. “I ask my employers for ration. I urge them to help me with food as I have no work left. Sometimes, we even go to sleep without food,” she added.
DRRAA is a network of individuals and organisations working in Delhi towards achieving food security for all. Volunteers from organisations linked to DRRAA facilitated the hearing by connecting people to their phones where the zoom call was going on.
Unemployment and food insecurity continues to loom large over the national capital even after the lockdown was lifted.
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