Policy Pipe-dreams: Ration Cards not to be found in rural Maharashtra

Valaki village, Maharashtra | Radhika Chincholikar

India is home to 190 million of the world's hungry. A staggering number by any count. To combat this the government has put into place a number of schemes, most importantly the Public Distribution System. Bogged down by corruption and neglect at every level, the scheme often does not reach those it is meant for.

VV Community Correspondent Radhika Chincholikar reports from Valaki village in Maharashtra where 300 families don't have ration cards. Others who have managed to procure a card then have to battle it out with a corrupt dealer who gives them lesser grains than they are entitled to.

Ration Cards are the identity and eligibility proof on the basis of which India’s Public Distribution System (PDS) works. The card is essential to get rations such as wheat, rice, kerosene and sugar at subsidised rates of INR 2-3 per kg. The ration card also serves as an identifier of beneficiaries of Government schemes aimed at those living below the poverty line. Every person is entitled to a ration card, which is classified in three categories: Antyodaya (extreme poverty level), Below Povery Line (BPL Card) and Above Poverty Line (APL). The government replaced it with a microchip-installed Smart Card in some parts of the country.


About the VV-Bloomberg Project: This video is a part of a special collaboration between Video Volunteers, a leading community media organization & Bloomberg, which is the premier source for global business and financial information. During this special mentoring project, five Bloomberg reporters became coaches to twelve of VV's IndiaUnheard Community Correspondents to help them produce videos on a variety of social issues. This is a one of its kind project where Bloomberg coaches, who have several years of experience working in mainstream media will share their expertise with trained grassroots journalists currently working to highlight the stories of their media dark villages. Each side will get refreshing new perspectives making for stronger journalism.

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