Food security: Aadhaar eliminating corruption a myth

There is a need to create a coordinating mechanism among various departments involved in the implementation of NFSA in a state

pradeep-baisakh

Pradeep Baisakh | August 3, 2017 | New Delhi


#Jharkhand   #West Bengal   #ration shops   #NFSA   #food security   #Aadhaar   #Bihar   #Right to Food  
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

In April this year, activists dealing with food security wanted to know from people in Katar village in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district whether the information uploaded on a website where PDS has been linked to Aadhaar was correct.

As the online information was displayed in a big screen in the village, people were surprised to see their actual entitlements. 
 
One villager said, “Hey this is my name, but I am not getting my monthly ration that is mentioned here. The dealer is giving me ration in alternative months. How is it possible? My entitlement is linked to Aadhaar!” Other villagers also reacted similarly. 
 
Further enquiry revealed that the dealer was manipulating the system. Though he gives the wheat in alternative month, kerosene is given on a monthly basis to the ration cardholders. While taking the fingerprint for kerosene every month in the POS (Point of Sale) machine, he also takes the same for the wheat without the knowledge of the card holder! 
 
He may take the fingerprint in the machine as many times as he wants just by saying that the impression could not be read. When the embezzlement was exposed, the villagers demanded their quota of wheat back, forcing two dealers to distribute seven truck-loads of wheat to the people.
 
The lesson: the system with Aadhaar in place is manipulable. 
 
The dealers were not giving any receipt against the distributed entitlements. They also did not mention the amount in the ration card and sign it. And people believed that Aadhaar prevents their entitlement from being siphoned off.
 
In a workshop organized by the Right to Food campaign in Delhi in July last week, social workers from various states discussed the performance of the scheme on the ground. A major concern was of course the mandatory use of Aadhaar in many states. There are instances where an old person having Aadhaar is not getting his quota of rice and wheat, as his fingerprints just do not match. 
 
“Under the Aadhaar system, the old, the migrants and the children are more likely to be excluded andall of them belong to the most vulnerable groups,” says Shankar Singh of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), Rajasthan.
 
Aadhaar is not much of an issue in Bihar or in West Bengal. But the Bihar government is roping in private companies to do the social audit, which will defeat the very purpose of audit. Ideally the villagers themselves should do the social audits, shared a social worker from Bihar. 
The labourers of the tea gardens in West Bengal, where malnutrition is high, are receiving bad quality flour in place of wheat. In Uttar Pradesh, all the PDS cards had photograph of former chief minister on it. Now the photo of the new chief minister Yogi Adityanath is there. It has not affected people getting their entitlements.
 
In a series of visits made by the volunteers of right to food campaign to the ration shops in Delhi, it was found that nearly 60 percent shops are closed and information on the display board about the beneficiary details was not updated.
 
In Jharkhand, in some cases the fingerprint is taken for both sugar and wheat, but only wheat is given. In Gujarat, there is visible lack of awareness among the members of the village level vigilance committee about their role. Aadhaar is mandatory in Gujarat.
 
A set of recommendations was given by the campaign. There is an issue with the internal grievance redressal mechanism, which needs to be sorted out. In most cases, the comprehensive rule under NFSA has not been formulated. There is need of creating a coordinating mechanism among various departments involved in the implementation of NFSA in a state. 
 

Comments

 

Other News

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.

Prakash Ambedkar on why he wants other parties to mention the candidates’ community

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo

Maharashtra, Haryana polls: parties spent Rs 280.72 crore on publicity

Political parties that contested the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections in 2014 spent the largest part of their expenses, Rs 280.72 crore (77.35 percent), on publicity, shows an analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW). This was followed by Rs 41.40 crore on travel expenses, Rs 22.59 crore on

Why Modi-Xi informal summit in Mamallapuram is important

Barely four days are left for Chinese president Xi Jinping to land in Mamallapuram (or Mahabalipuram) for an informal summit with prime minister Narendra Modi. While official confirmation is still awaited at the time of writing, the two leaders are expected to meet in this Tamil Nadu town known for its tem

Aarey tree cutting: Supreme court orders status quo

Citizen protesters had some relief on Monday as the Supreme Court ordered a status quo pm the cutting of trees in Aarey forests of Mumbai to build a Metro Rail shed. The apex court’s forest bench will hear the matter in detail on October 21 to find out if the selected site falls in the

Single-use plastic ban: Govt to focus on awareness

After prime minister Narendra Modi in his independence day address to the nation referred to the environmental harm caused by single-use plastic, the government was widely expected to come out with a formal ban on the substance from October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. There has been n



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter