Ensure food security of children during Covid-19 Pandemic: MHRC
IMPHAL, Mar 30: Responding to a complaint filed by Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) seeking immediate intervention of Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) into the miserable conditions of children in the state amid lockdown to contain COVID-19, the commission has passed a landmark directive on Monday asking authorities concerned to ensure provision of entitled food items to the children during the lockdown period.
In a release, MACR convener Montu Ahanthem conveyed gratitude to the commission for issuing directive in response to a complaint case (MHRC Case No. 41 of 2020) filed by MACR executive member Keisam Pradipkumar on March 28.
He informed that the MHRC in its directives passed on Monday has asked authorities Social Welfare Department and Education Department/SSA to provide the entitled food grains along with sanitary items to the children, who are enrolled as beneficiaries of national flagship schemes such as ICPS, ICDS and Midday Meal schemes, so that children are not deprived of any food during the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
He pointed out that the complaint was filed on March 28, drawing immediate attention of the State’s Human Rights Body to intervene into the miserable conditions of many children as a result of the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
Further, he informed that the directives of MHRC covered all the children who are living in different Child Care Institutions (children’s home, shelter homes, observation and special homes, place of safety, State Adoption Centres) under ICPS scheme, all the young children who are entitled to “Ready to Eat” food items under ICDS scheme and children of government and aided schools across the state, who are entitled to get Midday Meal provision.
The petitioner also requested for providing the entitled food grains to the children on home delivery system.
In response, MHRC acting chairperson Khaidem Mani set deadline of three weeks to all heads of departments to submit the action taken reports to the commission, he added.
Appealing to all concerned to cover every child living in a family while distributing rice or other food items during the Covid-19 pandemic, Montu Ahanthem urged them not to exclude on the inexplicable matter that he/she is not enrolled in the voters’ list.