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Villagers risk their lives to draw ration

B. Madhu Gopal
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Narasayamma and her mother Seethamma wading through Gosthani, carrying ration on their heads, at Patha Mulakuddu village in Visakhapatnam district. —photo: C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM
Narasayamma and her mother Seethamma wading through Gosthani, carrying ration on their heads, at Patha Mulakuddu village in Visakhapatnam district. —photo: C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Imagine crossing a stream in waist deep water and walking two km to get essential commodities under the Public Distribution System (PDS) every month.

This has been happening for generations at Patha Mulakuddu, about 40 km away from the city, but the officials concerned seem to have no time for the travails of the masses.

K. Narasayamma and her mother Seethamma were seen wading through waist-deep water carrying kerosene cans in one hand while balancing some essential commodities on their heads across the Gosthani River. The river flows as a stream before the joining the sea at Bheemunipatnam. “We are coming from Kotha Mulakuddu.

If we take the roundabout road route, we have to walk for around 8 km. When the river is in spate, we have no other option but to take the longer route,” Narasayamma said gasping for breath as she walked out of the water.

For how long have they been doing this? “I have been getting rations this way since childhood and my mother Seethamma has been bringing ration this way. Our appeals to people’s representatives and officials have not yielded any results”, she says. “There are around 150 households at Patha Mulakuddu and the officials say it isn’t feasible to open a ration shop for such a small number. Then we suggested opening ration counters in our village twice a month but nothing has been done. Though efforts have been made they haven’t materialised,” the mother and daughter said.

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