In India's second poorest state, Govt efforts to curb hunger are failing -Kunal Purohit
Garhwa district, Jharkhand: Bhagiya Birjia is in a fix. Each month, the 42-year-old farm labourer gets 35 kg food grains under Antyodaya Anna Yojana--a scheme meant to provide food security for the poorest Indians--on account of being a member of the Birjia tribe, designated a ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group’ (PVTG).
But she is forced to share the grains with seven members of her brother’s family, who live a short walk away from her, in the remote Mahuadanr block of Latehar district--180 kilometers west of the state capital, Ranchi. The family does not receive free food grain from India’s Public Distribution System (PDS) as they do not have ration cards.
As Jharkhand votes--in five phases from 30 November to December 20, with results on December 23--to elect a new government, some of the state’s poorest citizens cannot access food grains due to a drive between 2014 and 2018 to weed out fake beneficiaries from the PDS. The solution has entailed a dependence on technology that shuts out beneficiaries, sometimes illegally, as we explain later.
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IndiaSpend.com, 7 December, 2019, https://www.indiaspend.com/in-indias-second-poorest-state-govt-efforts-to-curb-hunger-are-failing/