BPL cards are not issued to those who need them most.
Sunita, our CC in Rajasthan, displays an amazing sense of investigate skill and journalistic integrity whilst shooting this video on Below Poverty Line cards. She not only shows courage in exposing the corrupt ward members of two Karauli neighbourhoods, but also conducts her own survey to prove that the neediest families do not receive BPL rations. Instead, she discovers that households who are actually above the poverty line use their higher socio-economic status to illegitimately obtain BPL ration cards.
The eligible candidates for the BPL ration card scheme had applied in 2005 and registered their names in the survey that was conducted then by the ward members from their respective municipalities. After some time, when there was no response, they went to the ward members and came to know that their names had not been selected. Non-literate and very poor, they gave up – after all, the ward members were asking for bribes to get their cards. Currently, the survey is being done again and this time the residents of these neighbourhoods will register their names and be more proactive in following it up.
Sunita believes that they should collectively approach the Village Council Head and demand what they deserve. Since most of the ward members are deeply corrupt, their names never reach the finalization lists. Recently, Sunita personally met the Village Council Head regarding the lack of BPL cards and explained the conditions of her impoverished community members. After this meeting, he personally issued two of the families BPL cards.
Sunita has a Public Relation Officer letter issued from Video Volunteers, and so she receives monthly subscriptions about the various government schemes being implemented. She is empowered by this information and strives to alert her fellow community members about the opportunities they can avail of. Because of this PRO letter and her Video Volunteers ID card, Sunita finds that she can approach all government officials without hassle.