With uncoordinated rationing, Chandigarh’s poor sleep hungry

The city administration has not coordinated with NGOs for smoother distribution of food
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Updated on Apr 09, 2020 12:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | BySrishti Jaswal, Chandigarh

My family is starving, cries an eight months pregnant Sona, who lives at Kacchi Colony in Dhanas. “I have four children at home but the administration provided food for just one. I don’t have any ration at home. How will I feed my children with just a small bowl of dal and four chapatis that they gave?” laments Sona with an empty plate in her hand.

Similar is the story of Chandravati who had gone to a queue set up in the neighbouring street for ration distribution. “The workers kicked me out saying that I have already taken food. I have six people at home, and no money or ration, and they just give me a handful of rice and a katori of dal and expect me to feed them. I will have to stand in line again,” said Chandravati.

Sona and Chandravati are among the many residents of Kacchi Colony who have failed to get ration and supplies to keep themselves sustained amid the lockdown. The only source of food for them is the community food being given twice a day by various NGOs and the administration, who are also struggling to reach out to the real needy.

Hoarders an issue

Sumit Jain, a volunteer who distributes food in Motor Colony of Manimajra, said, “Initially we used to pack the food in packets. Some people used to take multiple packets depending upon their family size, but we are not sure if that reached the beneficiaries or was it just for hoarding. Now we have asked them to get their own utensils to get the food in. I also have around 100 packets of ration with me, but we are not distributing them all as many people have hoarded them.”

Jain added that some people are getting ration twice or thrice. “Some areas are flooded with ration, so now we are distributing it with the help of police officials as they are aware of the needy,” he said.

Vivek Mehra, another volunteer for ration distribution, said, “Many people with an intention of having more food call us up multiple times, despite already being given ration. The administration should intervene and coordinate with NGOs for better working so that the doubling of the ration can be avoided.”

Sub divisional magistrate (SDM, central) Nazuk Kumar, the nodal officer for ration distribution, said, “It’s our responsibility to ensure that everyone gets food. We give food to everyone who stands in line. However, we don’t have any means to know how many family members a particular beneficiary has.”

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