he initiative of Zero Hunger Allahabad led to a Sankalp Yatra at four different locations in the district of Allahabad. It involved installation of three Community Grain Banks; one each at Gulaalpur, Bani and Katiyari Chakiya and a visit to Bahadurpur, where a grain bank had already been established in January 2018. The yatra was accompanied by various dignitaries - Dr. Sunit Singh(Professor at G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad), Prof. Janak Pandey(Ex. Vice Chancellor, Kendriya Vishwavidyalaya, Bihar), Smt. Urmila Pandey, Justice Amar Saran, Shri. RP Singh(Professor at ECC, Allahabad) and others. These Grain Banks have been donated by Smt. Urmila Pandey, Prof. G.K. Khare and Justice Amar Saran for Bani, Gulaalpur and Katiyari Chakiya respectively.
The members of the community demonstrated collective participation and stated their issues and problems. The Yatra was a not only a platform for discussion but also a medium for information exchange with respect to issues across various dimensions. The village dwellers shared information about access to Public Distribution System, their sources of livelihood, support from government schemes and linkage with MNREGA, children and their school going habits, new ways of farming and its effect on their livelihood, situations of food security, hunger crisis, need for Community Grain Banks and its sustainability and various others. The backdrop of the information gave an insight into the sad reality of bondedness and its inherent acceptance leading to increased vulnerability and deteriorating living conditions.
Community Grain Banks are a step towards empowerment of the bonded labourers to achieve sustainable freedom via food self-reliance.It aims to curb the situations of laborers where under the incapacitated circumstances of starvation they are forced to take loan from the contractors to purchase grains for their consumption which later leads to inevitable debt-bondedness. The goal for establishment of 100 Community Grain Banks in the district of Allahabad has been welcomed enthusiastically not only by the community but also by the citizens. To read more about the initiative, follow the link Community Grain Bank.