Antyodaya Anna Yojna and visually impaired

Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) , care needs to be taken to ensure that no beneficiary entitled under the scheme remained out of the reach. Delhi High Court has , however, taken a serious note of certain lapses in its implementation and has issued directives that visually impaired people should not be kept outside the ambit of the Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) under the NFSA. These are the persons categorised poorest of the poor and entitled to 35 kilos of subsidised food grains per family per month from the ration shops as compared to other categories entitled to 5 kgs of such subsidised ration.
Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has accordingly directed states to cover these people under the AAY in order to get the entitled quantity of food grains without any difficulty. We suppose, otherwise, directions explicit, should have been given to all states not to falter in bringing under the ambit of the AAY, the visually impaired persons and not wait till the court directions after viewing the lapses therein seriously. It is , however, a matter of satisfaction that the Union Minister has now given directions in this behalf to all the states.
The basic task of identifying the beneficiaries is taken casually and most of the eligible ones are resultantly left out and, therefore, not issued the ration cards which must be toned up. In 2003 , the beneficiaries list was expanded under the AAY to include the visually impaired persons in it . Not only this, the visually impaired beneficiaries are to get the extra benefit of free food grains being distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna (PMGKAY) till November this year.