Kerala: Reality checks on ration shortage

Deccan Chronicle.

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1.54 crore people on the priority list will get 35 kg of rice free of cost

A ration shop owner in Thiruvananthapuram checking the quality of rice. (Photo: DC)

Thiruvananthapuram: There is a shortage of rice to be distributed through ration shops following a strike by headload workers attached to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) fearing a cut in their wages after the implementation of the National Food Security Act. Following the strike settled later the movement of food grains got delayed since November adding to the woes of marginalised sections of the society who have faced the heat following demonetisation. DC talked to a group of people from various parts of the state to get a feel of the ground reality.

Chandrika, wife of the late Viswanathan Achary of Anayara

Though officials at the taluk office said I was in the priority category as per the new list, the shop owner denied me my ration quota saying I belonged to non-priority group. Even repeated clarifications have not convinced the dealer. I have not been given my ration for the month of November. The final  answer the shop gave was that I should come after December 20.

Haridas Thoppil of Vadookara division in Thrissur Corporation

As the news spread that there is no stock of grains in the retail ration shops, people have now stopped going to collect ration. I got the November quota as per my priority card from Vadookara outlet on December 16. I was told that the ration for this month would be given towards the end of this month.

K Subhash, Asaritha-rayil, Kottukulangara near Kayamkulam,  a BPL card holder

I used to get 5 kg rice each month before. However, I have not received it so far this month. The ration dealers deliberately keep the rice without distributing to the people. Whenever I demanded my quota, I got information that it had not been issued rice so far.  

Patheevi N.P. Vellayi, Kozhikode a homemaker

The fisher families are in grave peril after the public distribution system became defunct. Already we are hit by the currency crisis, and now, we are forced to buy from the private shops, and the family budget is affected to the maximum.  If the situation continues like this, the time is not too far when we will have to starve.

(with inputs from Kozhikode, Thrissur and Alappuzha)

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