Ration Rationed

 “I’m very worried. I have two grandchildren. We are not getting up to 16-17 kilos of our entitled ration.” This is the situation for people like this grandmother from Basia Village, Madhya Pradesh where the salesman in charge of distributing rations has been absent for six months now.  The salesman, Pappu expects bribes from the impoverished residents and if he does not receive them he sells the rations on the black market.   We need your help to stop this malpractice. You can put an end to this.    Call to Action:Please call Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, Block Officer of Batiagarh Block, Madhya Pradesh on 9425655624 and ask him to investigate this corruption immediately.   VV-PACS CorrespondentArtiBaiValmikiinvestigates the situation in BasiaVillage, Batiagarh Block, Damoh district, Madhya Pradesh, where for the past two months around 150 people have not been getting their rations.ArtiBai is shown the ration slips that residents of this village have been unable to redeem as the salesman Pappu is absent most of the time. She has been told that he has also taken money from people as bribes and promised them rations in return. Residents and especially those who are Below the Poverty Line (B.P.L.) are unable to access their state-given allowance of rations and thus are having to starve.  The ration shop is open a mere one hour a month for residents to queue and scramble one another to get a pittance of their deserved allowance.  A ration-card holder should receive 16 kilos of food grains, however these residents get less than 8 kilos or nothing at all.   And the story turns a bit more… Pappu has hired around 20 people who work for him without proper guidance or training.  They too have been left to exercise their own whims on the residents of Basia. Devi Singh, a resident explains this work ethic:   “…He doesn’t give ration to the people who are poor and come under the B.P.L. [category]. And the ration which he withholds from the poor, he sells off in the black market.”   Having spoken to Arti, our Correspondent, we learnt that residents of Basia Villagehave been afraid to make a complaint to the authorities about this situation.  Pappuis from the higher, Brahman caste and his family holds clout with a leading national party.  His influence and power rule the area and prevents residents from lodging complaints against him.   Through a previous videoCommunity Correspondent Alka Mate, was able to hold accountable an official for his lapses and ensured access to rations for 250 Pardhi tribal families in Champa Village, Maharashtra. This goes to show just how powerful a community’s voice teamed with a camera is. Today, you too can be a part of this process.   Help the residents ofBasia Village, Batiagarh Block, Damoh district, Madhya Pradesh receive their right to their rations NOW!    Watch more videos like this by clicking on this link. More information on the status of Madhya Pradesh’s ration system can be found in this article.   About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organisations.   Written by Manjinder Singh Sidhu    

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