Ration cards: genuine beneficiaries put to untold hardship

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Dejected: An old woman rushing to mandal revenue office at Ongole to get her ration card revived on Saturday.
Dejected: An old woman rushing to mandal revenue office at Ongole to get her ration card revived on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Septuagenarian shocked as revenue officials weed out her ration card

Cards of 2,000 applicants to be restored

Help desk set up at tehsildar office

ONGOLE: A 70-year-old woman was dismayed as revenue officials weeded out her ration card.

With anxiety writ large on her face, Kondamma came to mandal revenue office on Saturday to know as why her ration card was weeded out.

Kondamma lives in Balaram colony with her grandson and runs a road-side buddy shop selling beedis and cigarettes.

She draws eight kg rice at subsidised price every month on her white ration card. She said that she was not aware when the survey team visited her home for verification of ration cards as part of the exercise to weed out bogus cards. She contends that she was always available near her house running the shop.

She was seen moving from pillar to post inquiring about the fate of her card but in vain.

After prolonged wait, she was asked to write an application seeking revalidation of her ration card and leave the application in the drop box alongwith photo copy of her card and correct address.

An illiterate woman, she got the application written by a helping hand available near the office paying him Rs. 10 and got the photo copy of the card and put them in the drop box and left with a vague assurance that the survey team would visit her home again and revalidate her card.

Kondamma was not a stray case. Scores of poor women find themselves in the same piquant situation.

Ongole Tahsildar, Chiranjeevi, when contacted said that there are 54,000 white ration cards in the municipality. The survey teams that went from door-to-door recommended for cancellation of 11,000 cards.

Of those who lost the cards, only 3,500 turned up claiming that they were genuine beneficiaries. After re-verification, about 2,000 applicants were found to be eligible and their cards would be restored. Kondamma is one among them.

The weeding out exercise caused enormous strain on revenue officials on one hand and untold hardship on genuine beneficiaries whose cards were weeded out for reasons like that the door was locked or that they had migrated etc when the survey teams visited them.

A help desk at the tehsildar office to assure such persons that their cards had not been cancelled and that they can draw their ration for this month and that their cards would be revalidated by the time they draw ration next month, would go a long way to mitigate their suffering.



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