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Queues… just think….

January 12, 2012

EVER STOOD IN A RATION SHOP QUEUE IN YOUR LIFE?

PDS: THE NERVE CELL OF RURAL INDIA: 

I hardly use my Ration card in the PDS (public distribution system).  It is a very mandatory, sensitive document in India which is computer-coded for last 7 years carrying the pp size photo of the family head.   Its impossible to acquire a passport or property without your name listed in the card.   So if you are an Indian citizen, not only should you possess the card but also keep it alive (using it atleast sparingly as i do).

In my case, i let my part-time house-help utilize my family card rations.  In TN (as in all southern states), 20 KG rice is free every month for a card.  2 saris and 2 dhotis with towels are free for Diwali/Pongal (sankranti) which is around the corner (this weekend).   Sugar, atta and dal come at very subsidized rates. Surprisingly the quality is ok given the nominal pricing and even some of my well-to-do friends buy provisions like dal and atta in the PDS.
I had to go to the ration shop yesterday for getting our card stamped for validity period extension of one more year until the new one arrives.  I am told, the change of govt has delayed the issue but a lot more info’ will be incorporated in the new one.   There is the inimitable govt seal anyway with the computer code with family details like address, no. of members, age etc already along with the no. of LPG cylinders used by the family etc.  Finger-print will be the next main addition.
LPG distribution improved for better in my state/India after the details of the same were incorporated into the family ration card by way of endorsement.   Once the card is endorsed, no further addition of LPG connection (new) or LPG cylinders is possible.  Limits a family’s access to fuel to JUST A SINGLE CONNECTION.  Only one member listed in the family card can possess an LPG connection and NEVER MORE THAN ONE.  (the card is cross-checked by your LPG distributor once a year and endorsement made by the agency) (duplicity is thus prevented).
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Its just a PDS family card but in India, its a very sensitive legal document, even over the passport.
For any signing for extension or for change of address etc, ONLY LISTED FAMILY MEMBERS CAN APPLY IN PERSON AND SIGN IN RECORDS.  The preferred signatory is always the head of the family – in our case as my H is away, i have to interact.
No proxy can be substituted for the ration card issue or transfer or whatever – you can use a proxy to buy the groceries alone in the fair price shop.   Without proper authentication if anyone tries to get an issue or transfer, the card will be summarily cancelled.
Rules are very strict nowadays and the PDS card distribution and management are highly regulated to rule out any misuse of the same by ISLAMIC TERRORISTS who enter India and Indianize themselves by bribing corrupt officials.  The parliament bombing case in Delhi exposed the ration card forgery which has prompted stricter regulation governing the PDS family card issue.  Regular usage of the card has also since been made mandatory.
As much as possible, the loopholes are plugged and any duplication is made almost impossible.
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So yesterday afternoon 3-5, i had no option but to go and stand in the GENERAL JANATA QUEUE hahahahaha FOR extending the validity period of our Family ration card (over 2 hours).  AFter the final stamping, my card got an extended life of one more year until Dec 2012.  I could have got it done after Pongal on 14th – but then my house-help won’t be getting the Pongal gifts from govt this week in that case.  I never use it – i let her use mine always.
The thing is, how many of us really go to PDS shops, wait in queues and buy provisions?  My heart goes out to the poorest and lower middle class sections of our society for whom this is daily life.  How miserable?
I can’t picture in mind,  the multitude of human bodies pressed against each other in a sea of sweat in hot summers, packed in cramped rooms, waiting for the PDS rations at fair prices. QUEUES.  I am thanking God Almighty a million times for having spared me the ordeal.
Queues.  Just think.  
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From → Dilli Durbar

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