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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Jharkhand State Food Commission to train village heads on better vigilance of NFSA provisions

We are yet to decide how to conduct the training of the mukhiyas whether it will be through physical mode or in virtual mode, says JSFC chairperson

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 30.01.24, 06:28 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The Jharkhand State Food Commission (JSFC) will train village heads on better vigilance of Jharkhand's National Food Security Act (NFSA) provisions.

This decision was taken on Monday by JSFC chairperson Himanshu Shekhar Chaudhary after a survey report indicated the dismal knowledge of the panchayat level vigilance committee in informing the anomalies in food security issues with appropriate authorities.

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The survey conducted by a Ranchi-based external agency between December and January among 10 per cent of the mukhiyas (village heads) who head the vigilance committee at the village level as per NFSA provisions pointed out that only 28 per cent of the village heads informed about vigilance committee meeting to appropriate authorities namely block development officers (BDOs) at the block level and district grievance redressal officer (DGRO) at the district level.

The lack of intimation of the vigilance committee meeting to the appropriate authorities prevents action against those ration shop dealers who violate the Food Security Act as officials are ignorant about the discrepancy and problems at the village level.

Incidentally, there are over 4,300 panchayats in Jharkhand and the survey was carried out after JSFC pioneered conducting the state’s first ‘mukhiya samvaad’ (dialogue with village heads) last year wherein village heads were informed about NFSA provisions at the ground level, about their rights in checking and curbing irregularities in NFSA provisions and distribution of food grains.

“We are yet to decide how to conduct the training of the mukhiyas whether it will be through physical mode or in virtual mode. However, the survey has made us realise that we need to strengthen the Food Security Act implementation at the village level by empowering the vigilance committee heads. We have decided to change our strategy and make vigilance committee members at the village level aware of their responsibilities as per NFSA provision,” said Chaudhary.

The training will help the vigilance committee members properly conduct meetings, identify their responsibilities and curb malpractices in the distribution of food grains through ration shops.

Significantly, 76 per cent of the village heads stated in the survey that they regularly conduct vigilance committee meetings.

“We started with an innovative idea of ‘mukhiya samvaad’ across all the 24 districts of the state last year informing the panchayat heads about NFSA provisions at the ground level, about their rights in checking and curbing irregularities in the provisions and distribution of food grains. Now we will train them to implement the NFSA better,” said Choudhary.

Incidentally, the performance of each of the mukhiyas in terms of parameters of NFSA laws was judged and the best performers were felicitated with a memento and a certificate by the food commission last year.

“This was meant to encourage village heads in taking steps to ensure food security rights are adhered to and beneficiaries get their food grains,” felt Choudhary.

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