The staple diet is varied in Karnataka, with the southern parts favouring rice and ragi and the northern, jowar and wheat. Along the coast, a majority prefer boiled rice.
The government has promised to cater to this diversity under the Anna Bhagya scheme, which is eagerly awaited.
Vinay Poojary, a lorry driver in Saibrakatte village, said his family was getting the requisite quota of 30 kg of rice. “But it would be better if the government provides us boiled rice rather than raw rice. Our regular diet is boiled rice,” he said.
Prabhavati Bhandary, a homemaker in Udupi, said: “It would be better if we are provided 15 kg of boiled rice and 15 kg of raw rice. My family prefers to have boiled rice for lunch and dinner. I can use the raw rice for preparing breakfast items such as ‘idli’ and others.”
In the northern part of the State, in places like Gulbarga and Bidar, people are waiting for jowar to be distributed through ration shops.
Joseph Bichakunde, who collects waste in the vegetable market in Bidar to sell to farmers who keep buffaloes, says he can hardly believe he can get jowar through ration, that too at Re. 1 a kg. “Does what appears in the newspaper actually happen?” he exclaimed sceptically.
However, his wife Rani is hopeful. “My neighbour told me we will get jowar from next month. We are very happy.”
Ayesha Siddique, who works as a domestic help in Barud Galli in the old city, points out other issues. “We may get jowar at Re. 1 a kg, but we will have to spend Rs. 4 to Rs. 5 per kg at the flour mill for getting atta ,” she said.
Savitri Baburao Dotgi, mother of three children and a BPL cardholder in Basavanagar slum in Gulbarga city, said: “Whatever amount we save in the purchase of rice is spent on purchasing wheat or jowar at a higher price in the retail market. Added to this, sugar has not been supplied to us this month. If the government provides wheat or jowar along with rice and sugar at subsidised rate, much of our spend on foodgrains in the open market can be saved.”