Ruined Rations leave Poor Hungry

In Ladwa, Haryana, wheat rations are not fit for human consumption In India, the Public Distribution System (PDS) evolved as a system of management of scarcity and for distribution of food grains at affordable prices.  It is possibly the largest public distribution system in the world; a network of more than 4.62 lakh fair price shops distributing commodities worth more than Rs 30,000 crore annually to about 160 million families. The scheme is one of the most used political carrots to bait rural and poor voters, the primary benefactors of the scheme. However, as we see in Amit’s video, the reality is far from the impressive statistics pumped out by the government. For years ‘below poverty line’ families in Ladwa Block, Haryana, have been given sub-standard wheat rations. Each family, approximately 260 in total, is allotted 35kg per month but the grain they receive is so poor it is not even fit for animal consumption. In Haryana, as in much of India, wheat is a staple food; spoilt wheat results in less food, wastage, malnutrition and hunger. The most galling thing about this story is that, according to the ration shop owner, this hunger is brought about not by lack of resources but rather by the greed of corrupt distributors. Amit calls on those effected to mobilize and demand an end to such realities. The huge and sprawling structure of the PDS makes it susceptible to corruption at various levels. From warehouses to the local ration shop, the system is rife with pilferage, hoarding, spoilage. It's the poor who are at the receiving end. Ironically,  the same people who were supposed to benefit from the PDS now suffer at the mercy of it.

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