Villagers blame ration card digitalisation as their names disappear from lists

Many villagers in Uttar Pradesh these days are running from pillar to post after their names disappear from the ration card distribution list and they stopped getting ration. They say this happened during online registration and verification process

Ranvijay SinghRanvijay Singh   18 Sep 2019 7:43 AM GMT

Villagers blame ration card digitalisation as their names disappear from lists

Sachin Dhar Dubey and Ranvijay Singh

"Earlier we would get ration, but now we are not getting any. I am tired of complaining to the village head and the kotedar (ration distributor). But they are not willing to listen," said Rafiq, 32, who lives in Poorey Madey village in Amethi.

This village falls under Audari gram panchayat in Amethi, which is just 110 kms from Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow. But this village is, at present, facing the brunt of digitisation.

Out of 45, 40 families living in this village are not getting ration as their names don't exist in the ration card list. When we asked why these villagers were left out, everyone from the village head to the officials working with the Food and Public Distribution department said their names could not be registered online during the verification process.

According to the Department of Food and Public Distribution, there are 3,49,567 ration card holders in Amethi, which includes the Antyodaya and Priority Household Card (PHC) holders. Around 13,31,786 people are the beneficiaries. If we talk about Uttar Pradesh, there are around 3.5 crore ration card holders and around 14.16 crore people are the beneficiaries. However, many people got left out because of glitches during online verification and registrations.

These days, Bipata, 40, who lives in a mud house, has to depend on other villagers to provide her ration as her name is not on the list.

"My husband passed away a few years back. Earlier, I was getting ration, but now that has stopped. I was dependent on the ration, as there is no one in my house to go and work in the field and there is no other earning member," she said. "I told the village head, but he is not helping me out. Won't I get ration ever?" she asked.

Amethi is facing the brunt of digitization.

There are many like Bipata in this village who are running from pillar to post as they are not getting ration.

When asked, the village head, Mohammad Yusuf, said: "We had sent names of those who didn't have ration cards. Some of them got their cards, but the online system is not showing the updated list."

Sanjay Singh, the supply officer, informed Gaon Connection: "We never discriminate. Yes, some people got left out because of issues in verifications. But we make sure to issue ration card to those who come to us."

This issue is not restricted to one village in Amethi. Many districts are facing this problem.

Shivkumar Prajapati, 45, who lives in Mohari village in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh, said: "When I went to the ration shop three months back, I was told that my ration card has been discontinued. I have been running around since then."

He sent many applications for a new ration card, but things haven't worked out. "I have registered online twice, still I am not getting my ration card."

"We have surrendered our old ration card, but we haven't got a new one. The ration card distributor said our names don't exist. I have been running around since then, but no one is willing to help," said Lalita Singh, 30, who lives in Belahara village in Fatehpur block in Barabanki.

Some villagers living in Trivedigunj block in Haidergadh tehsil in Barabanki even protested a few days back. Some people went to the Block Development Officer after their names disappeared from the ration card list after it was updated.

When Gaon Connection got in touch with Sunil Kumar Verma, head, the Food and Distribution department, he said: "People can apply for a new ration card at the common service center. The Supply Officer would pay them a visit and they will get their new card after verification. The only glitch here is that people start getting ration two months after they get their ration card. This happens because we do update the list here, but it takes the Food Corporation of India two months to process the applications."

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