Out of work this lockdown, people await free ration

Several people are finding it difficult to make ends meet during this lockdown.   | Photo Credit: V.V. KRISHNAN

For 27-year-old Poonam Rawat, who is expecting her second child this week, battling the COVID-19, lockdown, and lack of access to foodgrains has begun taking a toll.

Ms. Rawat, a resident of Panchsheel Vihar, is among several people, who do not possess a ration card and hence, has not been able get access to ration, specially during the lockdown. The lockdown has once again been extended in the national capital to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“My husband and I tested positive on April 10 and he has been out of work since then. He used to work as a delivery boy in restaurants and now they have said that he might not get paid for the previous month as he could not work. My second child is due soon and I do not know how we will manage. Last year, we had received e-coupons from the Delhi government during lockdown. However, this year, no such facility has been announced and we are at a complete loss,” said Ms. Rawat, while adding that her ration card application has been under process for a long time now.

Despite announcements made by both the Central and Delhi governments on the provision of free ration, several ration card-holders in the city said that no such facility had begun yet.

Yashoda (30), mother of three – the youngest being 10 months old – said that they have been struggling to fend for themselves since the lockdown as her husband, a street vendor, has also been out of work.

“Both of us are out of work now. I had to borrow around ₹2,000 from a relative to buy basic grains to sustain for a few days. The e-coupon, which was issued to us last year, helped us a lot. However, this year we are distressed. Any kind of aid from the government at this point would help us immensely but it does not seem to be the case at the moment,” said Ms. Yashoda.

Reshma, a resident of the Lal Gumbad camp, said that only one member in the family of six had a ration card, against which, they have recevied nothing yet for this month.

“We had visited the ration shop two days back but we did not receive our quota. We are extremely hassled at this point. The lockdown has meant that we have no source of income. Even if the free distribution begins, how will the quota for one person be enough for all of us, given the current cirumstance?” said Ms. Reshma.

Subodh Bind, a resident of Pul Mithai area, said that several NGOs were coming forward to provide aid to those who are out of ration and do not possess ration cards.

Stating that mechanisms should be in place to distribute food and grains among those in need, Anjali Bharadwaj of the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyaan said, “First, in our audits, we have found that several of the ration shops were found to be closed. At such a time when there is immense economic distress, it is unacceptable that the governments are simply announcing, but not distributing. Second, neither the Chief Minister nor the Centre have said anything about those who do not have ration cards.”


“The Delhi government had itself said that 60 lakh e-coupons were distributed last year during lockdown. So what happens to those people now? There is a state of utter hopelessness. People are not getting work during this lockdown. They should at least get their ration on time,” said Ms. Bharadwaj.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 1:37:46 PM |

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