Yet another village suffers from corruption and daylight robbery that is rife in the Public Distribution System within the country. Today’s video is from Jharkhand, a state notorious for government subsidized grains and fuel being sold in the black market and leaving the poorest to starve. Watch the video by our correspondent Kamal and call the Sub Divisional Officer Ravindra Kumar on +919431113990 and tell him that you have seen and heard about the corruption in the rations distributed in Pantrasali village,West Singhbum which comes under his jurisdiction. Ask for immediate change.
Read the article below for more details:-
In Community Correspondent Kamal Kishore Purthy’s tribal village of Pantrasali in District West Singhbum, around 65 families living below the poverty line (BPL) are being denied their full quota of grain and fuel at the prices fixed under the system.
Kamal explains the situation in his village - “We are a poor tribal community. The people here are mostly minimum wage laborers. Work in the region is seasonal and hard to come by at times. People here either rely on getting jobs under the Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) or working in the farms during sowing and harvest. There are always a few months in a year when the families have no source of income. The people here work hard, earn little and manage to save almost nothing.”
The PDS supplies to the village which should arrive at the beginning of the month are almost always delayed. Sometimes, the deliveries arrive at a time when some families do not have the money to purchase the goods even at a subsidized rate. They are forced to borrow money or even forgo their monthly quota, which inevitably damns them to debt and starvation.
The PDS distributor in the village siphons off at least 100gms - 250grams for every kilo weighed by employing faulty measurements. Instead of the 35kgs entitled monthly, the families end up receiving only 30. In the video, Kamal has caught them red-handed.
“I wasn't even hiding the camera. They have nothing to cover up,” he says. “It’s like an ancient tradition in these parts.”
When Kamal spoke to the distributor she passed the blame to the transporters and the marketing director’s office. The Jharkhand government has been raving about its ‘doorstep delivery’ system in which the state transports the goods directly from the godowns to the shops and cuts off the middle man. “But now, the middle man has reappeared,” says Kamal, “When the trucks reach the shops, you have to pay labor to offload the goods from the truck to the shop. He is the new middle man. And since his price cannot be reimbursed from the government, the supplier taxes it on the people’s quota.”
Kamal spoke to the Marketing Manager and he denies awareness of any complaints made by the people. But Kamal calls his bluff. He himself has complained against the corruption and the illegal siphoning many times before.
“The distributors and suppliers and transporters keeping passing the buck. They are look at the situation as blame game,” says Kamal. “35 kilos of grains for a poor family can go a long way. If the children are not fed and are starving, how will they be educated? How will the parents go for work if they haven’t eaten? This corruption is putting the lives of 60 families – fathers, mothers, grandparents, children – in great peril.”
“We are not talking about who has a clean slate! We need a solution.”
Call To Action: Kamal says that if you have seen the video and the issue provokes you and you wish to participate in the change that he is trying to bring to the poorest inhabitants of village -
1) Call the Sub Divisional Officer Ravindra Kumar on +919431113990 and tell him that you have seen and heard about the corruption in the rations distributed in Pantrasali village,West Singhbumwhich comes under his jurisdiction.
2) Ask him to look into the matter personally and ensure that the villagers receive the right quantity of ration, at the correct rates and at the right time.
A young , gay and fearless rural filmmaker.
Amit Topno joined Video Volunteers in 2012, and worked extensively on various community issues without fear! This video is a tribute to Amit's courageous work.