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Every election gives a new government with a new set of promises, hopes and beliefs concerning education, electricity, employment, health, sanitation, connectivity etc and while every government talks about taking India to next level of development, the very fact is that there are still several pockets in India who are struggling to meet two times meal a day. India has now reached a stage where it has no threat of real famines; however, major chunk of its population is still facing actual starvation year after year and thus dealing with food insecurity. To think about, food insecurity is not only an economic problem but is also problem of non-humanity which also implies that food insecurity is not only natural but also a manmade problem.

Food Security Card - Status, Eligibility & Application Procedure

About Food security Card

Food security, as the name implies, happens when everyone has access to healthy, affordable, safe food which meets dietary needs and is obtained in a dignified manner and is the ability to assure, on a long-term basis, that the system provides the total population access to a timely, reliable and nutritionally adequate food supply. India, despite its growth and global recognition, is still facing acute shortage of food and present food crisis is mainly because of the low purchasing power and lack of proper distribution and the trading system impeding free flow of food.

Holistically, food security can be visualized or achieved in four stages, namely:

  1. Making an adequate quantity of cereals available to all to ensure survival.
  2. Adequate quantity of cereals and pulses.
  3. Food security to include cereals, pulses, milk and milk products.
  4. Food security to include cereals, pulses, milk and milk products, vegetables and fruits and fish, egg and meat in case of non-vegetarians.

Telangana State Government has made a serious cognizance of the situation and has introduced Food Security Card in order to ensure that its population meets the required dietary needs. Food Security Card, also known as Food Security Ration Card is a legal document based on which the cardholders can avail or buy the listed commodities at a nominal or very subsidized price. The listed commodities include rice, sugar, fertilizers, kerosene and LPG. While the main purpose of Food Security Ration Card is to ensure targeted food distribution, it also serves as a multi-purpose document that serves as an identity proof, both for the cardholder and for the whole family.

Food Security Card is a brainchild of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), which was launched by the Indian government in the year 1997. Main objectives of TPDS were to focus on the poor segment of the society and to provide them with subsidized and healthy food through a network of ration shops, where the listed commodities such as rice and fertilizer are bought from farmers and delivered to the ration shops as per state allocation. However, not everyone can buy from these allocated ration shops because it is the government who identifies the poor, procures the listed commodities and ensure timely delivery of the same.

It was in the year 2013 when the National Food Security Act was enacted by the Parliament according to which:

  1. The eligible person should get 5 Kgs of food grains per month at subsidized prices of Rs 3, 2 and 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively.
  2. Children below 14 years of age are entitled to get nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.
  3. It lays special emphasis on the nutritional demand and requirement of women and children. For pregnant and lactating mothers, apart from meals, it also has the provision of giving Rs 6,000 per month as maternity benefit.
  4. Certain segment of society in Telangana i.e. Anthodia Anna Yojna (AAY) are entitled to receive 35 kgs of food grains per household per month.
  5. As per the National Food Security Act, Food Security Card was implanted by the Telangana State Government.

Key features of Food Security Card are as below:

  1. It ensure that the poor segment of people get listed commodities such as rice, fertilizers, sugar, sugar, kerosene and LPG at a subsidized rates in Telangana.
  2. It is accepted as an identity proof of the cardholder and for the entire family.
  3. It can be linked to Aadhar Card and to the bank account number of the cardholder.
  4. Food Security Card is accepted not at all the grocery shops. Cardholders can procure the essential and listed commodities from a network of Fair Price Shops.

In order to have a fair distribution of Food Security Card, Telangana State Government has divided the beneficiaries into three categories:

  • APL – Above Poverty Line: Households categorized as APL are not entitled and covered under TPDS and thus are not provided with a Food Security Ration Card.
  • BPL – Below Poverty Line: Households categorized as BPL are covered under TPDS and are provided with the Food Security Card.
  • Anthodia Anna Yojna (AAY) – This section belong to the poorest among the BPL families are entitled for a Food Security Card. Groups falling under AAY are:
    • Marginal farmers
    • Slum dwellers
    • Destitute
    • Primitive tribal households
    • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no means of income.
    • Landless agricultural labourers.
    • Rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters and tanners.
    • Daily wagers such as porters, rickshaw pullers, cobblers etc.

Although Telangana State Government has introduced the Food Security Card in order to meet basic dietary requirements of those who fall below the poverty line, one has to meet the eligibility criteria as listed down:

  • The applicant should not already be a Food Security Card Holder.
  • The applicant must belong to the economically weaker section of the society.
  • If you are a couple, you should have got married in Telangana.
  • You are eligible to be a Food Security Card Holder if you are a holder of temporary ration cards or expired cards.

Telangana State Government has kept its identification of the eligibility for the Food Security Card pretty simple and takes help of the Gram Panchayat and the Gram Sabhas, i.e.

  1. It identifies the households that come under the Anthodia Anna Yojana (AAY) and,
  2. The remaining families which do not come under the AAY category are identified as belonging to the priority households under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

Application Procedure for a Food Security Card

If you meet the eligibility criteria as listed down by the Telangana State Government, you have to follow the below mentioned steps to apply for a Food Security Card:

  • Visit the
    http://www.tg.meeseva.gov.in/DeptPortal/UserInterface/LoginForm.aspx.
  • From the application link, you need to download the Telangana New Food Security Card application form and select “Application for New Food Security Card” from the Civil Supplies.
  • Mark tick on the check box next to FSC in the application box.
  • Enter the details as per the application form, such as:
    • Aadhar Number
    • Head of the family
    • Father/Spouse Name
    • Gender
    • Social Status
    • Gas connection details
    • Residential address
    • Member details
    • Informant details
  • Submit the duly filled form at the MeeSeva Centre near to you along with the required documents.
  • You need to have the below mentioned documents to obtain a Food Security Card in Telangana:
    • Application form
    • Aadhar proof document
    • Address proof document
  • Since the idea of introducing Food Security Card is to provide food security to economically weaker sections, the processing fees for the same is quite nominal i.e. Rs 35, including service charge and statutory charge.

Status of the Food Security Card

Once you have applied for the Food Security Card, you can also check the current status of the same by following below mentioned steps:

  • Visit the official website of EPDS in Telangana https://epds.telangana.gov.in
  • Once you have logged in to the official website, click on the FSC Search on the home page of the website.
  • Select “FSC Application Search”.
  • Select your district from drop down menu.
  • Enter your application number, which you have got while submitting your application for the card.
  • Click on the “Search” button to check the current status as per entered application number.

Download Food Security Card

Telangana State Government has made the provision to download your Food Security Card without making rounds to the MeeSeva Centre. Follow the below mentioned steps to download your Food Security Card:

  • Visit the official website of EPDS in Telangana https://epds.telangana.gov.in
  • Once you have logged in to the official website, click on the FSC Search on the home page of the website.
  • Select “FSC Application Search”.
  • Select your district from drop down menu.
  • Enter FSR reference number or Ration Card Number or Old Ration Card Number in order to search for your card.
  • If your name is there in the Telangana Ration Card List, then you are eligible to download your Food Security Ration Card.

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