BPL shopping bag has rice, wheat … but why detergent?

Updated - March 29, 2016 02:39 pm IST

Published - August 12, 2015 03:25 am IST - Vijayapura:

  Every month, when 54-year-old Noorjahan Salotagi, a widow and domestic help, goes to collect her quota of ration, along with rice, salt, sugar and edible oil, she returns with tea powder, turmeric powder or a slab of detergent.

 Not that she wants any of them. “The tea powder is of such low quality, I cannot make a good cup of tea even if I use the entire 100-gm packet,” she says, while showing about a dozen such packets to this reporter.

Noorjahan is one among numerous BPL cardholders, who have been forced to buy the extra and substandard items by ration shop owners.

This phenomenon is not restricted to Vijayapura alone, it has been reported across the Karnataka.

“We cannot refuse to buy it. If we do so, he will refuse to give us essential items such as rice and oil,” she says.

Several beneficiaries say ration shop owners purchase various items in bulk and forcibly sell them to consumers to make extra sales. “Every official in the Food Department knows it, but no one takes action because they get their share from these shop owners every month,” alleges a consumer.

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