07, Nov 2007
A report on the pitiable living conditions of Gujarat’s humans was submitted to the Supreme Court by Supreme Court Commissioner, NC Saxena, in the PUCL’s Right to Food petition. The highlights and appalling facts of the Report are as under:
It was established prima facie that the directions of the honourable Supreme Court with regard to food and employment schemes were being violated.
In the 81 relief camps: 4,545 families comprising around 30,000 persons still living in very difficult conditions.
The study found that none of the colonies had been set up or assisted by the state government.
Only five of the 81 colonies had government or government-recognised schools, and only four served midday meals to the children.
Only five had ICDS centres, of which four served supplementary nutrition to the children, and one to nursing and expectant mothers.
Only three had PDS shops, and only 725 out of 4,545 families were recognised as BPL although their intense poverty as internally displaced persons facing economic boycott was acute.
People who had APL cards are reluctant to apply for a transfer of the card because they fear that this may be cancelled.
The Commissioner proposed a number of steps that had to be undertaken immediately to ensure state accountability for the food and livelihood rights of its citizens who remain internally displaced nearly five years after the 2002 incidents.
(Reference: “Hungry Heart,” Communalism Combat: July 2007; PART II)