Women from tribal villages 'lose' BPL status after getting Ujjwala LPG -Syed Khalique Ahmed

-The Indian Express

28.2 per cent surveyed households did not buy refills even once, 37.4 per cent families bought refill second time, says study.

Shardaben Mansinh, a resident of Mekhar Morva village in Panchmahal district, was a BPL cardholder. However, after she was allotted a LPG connection under Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in June 2016, she was denied subsidised kerosene by the local PDS shop. On inquiry, she was told that she had lost her family’s BPL status after taking the LPG connection, and therefore, she was not entitled to subsidised kerosene and other poverty alleviation schemes’ benefits available to BPL families.

The situation of Lilaben Konabhai Takarda, a resident of Rampur village at Vadali taluka of Sabarkantha district, is no different. As a BPL cardholder, she took an LPG connection with a gas cylinder, stove, regulator and a gas pipe under the PM Ujjwala scheme by paying Rs 600 to the local LPG distributor. She too has been denied kerosene by her PDS shop owner on the ground that she has already got a LPG connection. She was also denied subsidised ration under Antyodaya, a BPL scheme.

Narrating their woes to mediapersons here on Wednesday — as part of the effort of an Ahmedabad-based NGO, Disha Foundation, to highlight the pitfalls of the scheme — they said that PDS shop operators told them that the state government has directed that Ujjwala beneficiaries be no longer be treated as BPL, and hence not entitled for subsidised kerosene and ration.

The women said that they had even offered to return the LPG connections and enroll themselves again as BPL families, but the local authorities told them that it was not possible now. Many of them said that they were so poor and were not able to procure refills after the first LPG cylinder that was given to them free of cost under the scheme.

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The Indian Express, 24 January, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/women-from-tribal-villages-lose-bpl-status-after-getting-ujjwala-lpg-5553174/?fbclid=IwAR0vGoy1gCpZGyr3DUMHzXf2V6R7UnZwdTH

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