Published in The Economic Times on Aug. 04 ::
Several human rights groups today came together and held a public hearing in the national capital around the issues that affect the poor and marginalised.
Representatives of Pension Parishad highlighted the discrepancies in present pension scheme and demanded that a mechanism for grievance redressal should be put in place and that pension amount should be indexed as per inflation.
“There is no mechanism for grievance redressal. Pension should be universal. Pension should be Rs 2000 per month or 50 per cent of minimum wage (on retirement). Pension amount should be indexed as per inflation.
“Most of the states provide pension on quarterly basis. Pension should be given on 1st of every month. There is no effective selection mechanism. We urge that all citizens above 55 years of age should get pension. Further, social security like health care facilities and ration should also be provided to all elderly along with old age pension,” said Nikhil Dey, Activist, Pension Parishad.
The Right to Food Campaign urged the government to stop all open releases of GM crops, including field trials.
“We demand that the government make amends to NFSA 2013 by taking steps to immediately expand and implement the Act – in letter and spirit,” said Kavita Srivastava, Activist, Right to Food Campaign.
The Rashtriya Mazdoor Adhikar Morcha urged the government that MGNAREGA should be revamped and made stronger and more effective. Provision needs to be made for inflation or the impending drought as rural workers across the country are facing a completely non-responsive employment guarantee regime.
The National Alliance for People’s Movement demanded urgent establishment of a National resettlement and Rehabilitation Commission to deal with the grievances of 10 crores of people who have sacrificed their land and livelihood in the process of development.
Activist, Dr Vandana Prasad from Jan Swasthya Abhiyan said, “We believe and reiterate that Health is a fundamental human right – that the government is responsible for the provision of health care, as well as an enabling environment for the realization of the right to health, which includes the right to having control over the social determinants of health.
“As noted by the Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health, the Right to health includes the Right of people to participate in all decisions related to health, the implementation of these policies, as well as their monitoring and evaluation.”