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Now, you can help most vulnerable migrants to get ration cards

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NEW DELHI: Now most vulnerable migrants in cities such as the destitute, maids, security guards and sex workers, who don’t have ration cards due to lack of current residence proof, can get ration cards to avail themselves of subsidised food grains under the national food security scheme or NFSA. The food ministry on Friday launched a “common registration facility” to enable such people to get themselves registered.
The ministry said this initiative can bring nearly 1.58 crore such people under the food security net. The new facility also enables “ration card-mitras” — employers, NGOs, individuals, municipal or panchayat representatives and recognised government bodies — to get such vulnerable people registered on the portal since they may not be knowing how to apply online.
People can visit nfsa.gov.in portal and login as public to apply for ration card.
The common registration facility is an initiative to collect data of people desirous of registering for inclusion under the NFSA while residing anywhere in the country. TOI, on December 26, had first reported the Centre’s plan to launch the online facility.
“People can register on behalf of the vulnerable persons by providing necessary details. The information will be shared with the states for carrying out field verification. The update about the registration and the status of application will be sent to the email accounts and mobile phone number of those who applied. Once the process is complete, the ration card will be issued online,” said Union food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey.
To begin with, 11 states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Assam and Meghanalaya, will be covered under this initiative and soon all other states and UTs will be brought in. Pandey said the facility aims to provide relief to migrants who no longer stay at their place of origin and don’t have residential proof where they work.
He said the states concerned will issue the ration cards and this will be as per their quota under the NFSA. For example, currently 14 states have exhausted the number of people eligible to get subsidised food grain under the NFSA. These include West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu.
However, this does not mean that vulnerable people from these states can’t apply for ration cards. “States keep on weeding out fake or duplicate ration cards and fresh cards are issued to those who need them the most. So, whenever such cards are deleted, those who have applied will be eligible to get the new ration cards. In a recent exercise, we have found nearly 70 lakh beneficiaries are under the suspected category,” Pandey said.
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