NHRC notice to the Delhi Government over thirty families not getting ration cards in the building where three minor girls had died of starvation (08.04.2019)

New Delhi, 8th April, 2019

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that ration cards elude 30-odd families in the same building of East Delhi, where three minor girls had died of starvation eight months ago. Reportedly, after the death of the three minor girls, the Delhi Government had promised ration cards to all those who lived in the building. The entire area is deprived of basic amenities and the garbage is also being dumped near the residential area.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi to submit a detailed report including action taken after the deaths of the minor girls by the department concerned and present status of the applications pending for issuance of ration cards and status of Public Distribution System along with basic amenities in the area. Response is expected within four weeks.

The Commission has also observed that the contents of the news report are quite disturbing that even after the death of three young girls due to starvation; seemingly the authorities in the Government of NCT of Delhi have not woken up. Apparently, the innocent people have become victims of the State’s apathy and inhuman approach. This is a serious case of violation of Right to Food of the poor people.

According to the media report, carried today on the 8th April, 2019, the Delhi government’s Food & Civil Supply department officials have stated that under current rules, eligible applicants are required to have the same address on the Aadhar Card where they currently reside. A module is reportedly being developed by the Central Government to enable beneficiaries to procure ration anywhere in the country with the card issued to them on the permanent address or any other place but the same is yet to be implemented. It is also mentioned that till this system comes into implementation, applicants have to submit Aadhar, having a Delhi address.

Reportedly, the Deputy Chief Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi, accompanied by the officers from the Department of Food and Supplies had visited the building on 26th July, 2018, after the death of three minors due to starvations. It was assured that all the residents would be given ration cards but, till date, nothing has happened. The news report has referred to some of the residents case where they have not been able to procure a ration card as the landlord of the building has refused to give them identity proof. Most of the people residing in the area have their Aadhar Card issued on their village addresses and the officials concerned have told them to get the address changed to apply the ration card for which money is required.