Will corrupt inadequate PDF lead to food riots?
Nagpur: Since the nation wide Corona lockdown began, one can see two scenes in Nagpur, as elsewhere.
There is the rich class which is enjoying the lockdown surrounded by luxury and no scarcity of food and other provisions.
Then there are the overwhelming number of poor ( mostly migrant) daily wage earners who are out of work, out of money and out of food. With no means of going back to their home towns, except on foot.
CORRUPT PDF RASAN VENDORS FLEECING POOR EVEN IN THIS SITUATION
Not that the government is unaware of the starving poor. There are systems in place like Ration cards, where wheat is sold at just Rs. 2/ per Kg and more schemes for BPL card holders.
But NGOs run by Nagpur youth who are going all out to help this class are finding something shocking.
Shop owners managing Ration shops are cheating the poor illiterates of the ration that is their due!
As Shoeb Memon reported to NT , one family complained to them that they have been given just 5 kgs of wheat and rice when there are 9 members in the family.
” How will this be enough for us?” They asked.
Surprised, the NGO youth checked the family’s eligibility in the PDF system online. To their chagrin they found that an entry of 40 kgs received had been made against their card!
More over, no ‘ receipts’ were given of purchase made to hide the corruption. As Shahid Sharif , who is part of many committees overseeing PDF running was told by the Ration shop keepers ” we don’t want to handle paper due to fear of infection” , or ” we have run out of slips”.
Now the group of Shahid and his friends are doing the tedious job of contacting families who have been cheated and ensuring they receive the pending rations also!
WHERE IS FREE RATION PROMISED?
On 31st March, PM Modi had issued a notification that poor people would be entitled to a fixed free ration too. This scheme is not being implemented at all. Ration shops are constrained for space is one reason being touted for shops not keeping free rations at all.
In this scenario even the Nagpur cell of AAP has approached the administration for letting them set tables for their teams across Nagpur to ensure fair and honest distribution of food grains. They are yet to receive a reply.
What About the Migrants Who Do Not Have Ration Cards?
There is also a large number of out of state families who are stuck in Nagpur but have no Ration or BPL cards. They are left out of the food distribution scheme entirely!
The spectre of hunger and death due to starvation looms large on their heads.
Many NGOs and some honest officials are trying to reach out to them but it often seems like a losing battle.
The climax is, when these starving hordes are trying to access shops or places where food is being distributed they are being caned and pushed back by Police.
How long before we see Food riots in this situation?
…By Sunita Mudliyar ,Ex Editor
Video1 : People Speaks
Video 2: People Version
Video 3: Store owner on camera