Skip to main content

Jharkhand Adivasis protest failure to get ration for months, Aadhaar biometric snag

By Our Representative
Hundreds of Adivasis of several villages of Jharkhand’s Khuntpani block (West Singhbhum district) protested at the block administration’s office against the denial of ration, use of Aadhaar and other irregularities in the Public Distribution System (PDS). The protest took place following widespread unrest because of the “failure” to distribute ration in several of the villages for the last several months.
The protesters reported that cardholders of Ulirajabasa did not get ration from September to December 2018, and again February 2019. Earlier, they did not get ration in one month in 2017 and three months in 2016. People of Ankolkuti have not received their grain entitlements during August-September and November-December 2018, it was pointed out.
Cardholders said, they have to face hassles (“often leading to denial of ration”) due to mandatory use of Aadhaar and Aadhaar-based biometric authentication in the PDS. Even though the ration shop is in their village, cardholders of Ulirajahasa village have to travel three kms away to another village just for Aadhaar-based biometric authentication, required for getting their grain entitlement. This is because their village does not have adequate internet connectivity.
Meena Bodra, a participant in the protest rally, said that not only do the people have to spend money for travel, they also have to lose their daily wages, sometimes for up to three days. And after all this hassle, biometric failure continues to deny cardholders of their grain entitlements.
Kande Purty, another rally participant, said, he was denied his ration for the month of January 2019 as his fingerprints did not work in the Point of Sale (PoS) machine, meant for biometric verification. Others present agreed, insisting, the earlier system of ration distribution (through registers) was better than the current biometric based system.
While some participants belong to vulnerable families reported that they haven’t received ration cards even though they applied for it quite some time, others said, their ration cards have been cancelled recently for unknown reasons. 
Asai Bodra of Paseya village, who is physically disabled, said that she could not collect her ration for the month of February 2018 as her ration card was cancelled without informing her. Banubinj village’s Naguri Hembram said that she and some other families stopped getting ration since July 2017 as their ration cards were cancelled.
People said, they complained to the block administration several times, but their contentious issues remain unresolved.  Following the rally, a memorandum was submitted to the Block Development Officer to be forwarded to the state Chief Minister.
One of the demands put forward in the memorandum said that grain entitlements pending for earlier months should be “immediately given to the cardholders and the government should ensure timely delivery of ration every month.”
It wanted the state government to remove the Aadhaar-based biometric authentication system (PoS machine) from the Public Distribution System, insisting, Aadhaar should be made non-mandatory. The Earlier system of ration distribution (through registers) should be implemented, it added.
The memorandum sought cancellation of license to the ration dealers, and handing over the entire PDS to women self-help groups to take up the responsibility for distributing the ration.
Wanting that families whose ration cards have been cancelled should be immediately re-enrolled in the PDS, the memorandum demanded administrative action against all those officials and dealers who are responsible for failing to provide ration in time.
The rally ended following a verbal assurance from the Block Development Officer that she would “look into” their problems.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.