Ration Corruption Continues in Rural Orissa

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Video By Community Correspondent

Born in a village where there are no schools that teach past the seventh grade, Sarita Biswal had to struggle and persevere to get literate. She wants to be the... Connect with sarita  connect-email
Ration Corruption Continues in Rural Orissa

Below Poverty Line villagers in Cuttack district are constantly cheated of their allotted rations.

Sarita told us at VV that this was the hardest video she has made so far. She faced opposition and threats from the ration card dealers while shooting, and they stoutly refused to give her an interview. They even warned her that they would go to the police and report her interference. The villagers did not want to speak on camera about what was going on out of fear that their rations would be further cut.

So Sarita took the DVD we had sent her with IndiaUnheard videos from the previous month and showed them to her neighbours and other villagers. The result of this proactivity was that when Sarita went to confront the corrupt ration card dealers, she was supported by the other villagers who had come there at the same time. After seeing her, they were also more willing to share what was happening.

These people are poor. Under the BPL scheme, they are entitled to subsidized foods and fuel. To benefit from this scheme, those who are eligible have to submit their applications, duly attested by the Municipal Councillor or Village Council Head, two photographs and an affidavit. Once they have their cards, they should receive a specified amount of sugar, rice, wheat, kerosene, etc, per month. As we saw with Sunita’s video on the same topic last week, there is corruption at every level. People are forced to pay bribes to get their ration cards, then they have to pay to get their rations.

Clearly, something is wrong. Sarita says she can use this video to garner support and mobilize the villagers into going as a group to the Village Council Head. First, she would need to explain to all the BPL families what they are supposed to be getting, and in what quantities. Then she can organize a petition to be signed and taken to the higher authorities, such that the corrupt ration card dealer can be replaced.

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4 Responses to Ration Corruption Continues in Rural Orissa

  1. astrokid.nj says:

    Good and brave job Sarita. Keep it up.

  2. Ajaywinder Singh Padda says:

    i agree to this fully because its happening everywhere. Its a pretty sad thing that all these things are not frequently telecasted on news channels or in youth channels. Most of the youth knows that the corruption is going on. But the reason why they are not helping the poor people is that they don´t care. They dont take any interest in seeing these things also. They are unaware of these problems and so they are not helping the poor. Just wasting their time and energy sometimes.

  3. karthik says:

    y dont we use RTI act stop issues regarding ration corruption

  4. Rukmani says:

    Congrats Sarita on a well-done job! I admire your courage and tenacity of purpose. Yes, you are right – today’s youth is dangerously moving towards the Western way in their clothing, food and life style. Like you have rightly pointed out, young people should be able to balance the traditional with the modern. After all there are so many wonderful aspects of our ancient culture and tradition that can be beneficial for our physical and mental-well being.

    I also see my domestic help ( I am from Chennai)suffering in the same way. They take money from these poor people to give them what is rightfully theirs! If one protests then she is denied the rations after that. There is always strength in unity. And that is what your actions have proven.

    All the best in your future endeavours!

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