Ghasipura: Santilata Mahakud’s four-member family lives in Gohira panchyat under Ghasipura block in Keonjhar district.
The family was not allowed to collect its rice quota from the ration card shop or public distribution system (PDS) centre for the last three months and nobody knows when they will be able to do so next.
Reason behind this is that the family’s ration card has not been linked to its Aadhaar card.
This is not only the case of Santilata alone,there are about 12,556 needy tribal families in the block who have been denied ration rice and other products under PDs system because they are unable to link their ration cards with Aadhaar Cards.
The Supply and Consumer Welfare Department has also failed to come to their rescue as the beneficiaries are not sure when their ration cards would be linked to Aadhar.
Notably there are 1, 28, 948 beneficiaries in the block, who are registered under National Food Security Act.Their ordeal began after the state government implemented the Centre’s ‘one nation, one ration card’ programme in September, when the process of “seeding” ration cards with Aadhaar cards was finalised. 1, 16, 392 families in the block managed to complete this process, and so were able to draw out rations. But 12, 556 like the Mahakud family are clueless about what “seeding” means, and many don’t even have an Aadhaar card yet.
However, Block Supply and Consumer Welfare Department’s officer Sambit Kumar Parija admitted that many deserving people in the block had been left out following the Aadhaar linkage system came into force. He said efforts were on to ensure that not a single deserving person is denied their quota of rations under FSA.
According to him, those who could not be covered under NFSA for rice and kerosene, would, at least, be provided with rice under the State’s food security scheme.
He said that corrections are being carried out on a daily basis at the grassroots level to ensure that people with terminal illness or those who faced problems with unmatched thumb impressions, were provided their quota without delay.
For the government, Aadhaar linkage to welfare programmes may be a good way to check loss of ration meant for the poor, but the denial of benefits to people due to administrative mistakes is unpardonable.
BDO Madhusmita Samantray said that they will try their best to speed up the process of Aadhaar linkage with ration cards.