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Ranchi transparency bid in food supply through PDS

This is another bid to inform beneficiaries about their rightful entitlements in local language so that they can lodge complaints against any irregularities: Official

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 15.08.22, 12:18 AM
Ration beneficiaries protest against irregularities in food distribution at West Singhbhum last month.

Ration beneficiaries protest against irregularities in food distribution at West Singhbhum last month. Bhola Prasad

The food and civil supplies department of Jharkhand has launched an online e-book Aahar Patrika to bring transparency to ration distribution through the public distribution system (PDS).

The online e-book will facilitate access to Right to Food activists, beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA 2013) and the general masses to know on real-time basis details of rations distributed to beneficiaries by a PDS dealer by logging into the department website and opening the Aahar Patrika link.


“Earlier, one needed to enter details about ration card number to access the quantity of food grains allocated, distributed/lifted and quantity in balance. Now one does not need to enter even the ration card number. One needs to click on the district, block and dealer name which will come up one after another after one opens the Aahar Patrika link to get all the details about types of ration cards, beneficiary names and food grains allocated, and distributed and remaining stock. It has been made user-friendly. The objective is to help anyone, be it right to food activists or beneficiaries, to know on a real-time basis all the information pertaining to ration supplies,” said Satish Chandra Choudhary, additional secretary of food and civil supplies department, Jharkhand.

“We have tried to make it as transparent as possible so that activists/beneficiaries or common masses can know the cheating, if any, done by the ration dealers in terms of distribution of food grains on a real-time basis and lodge a complaint at the earliest about the irregularities and action can be taken against errant PDS dealers or officials involved at the district level. We are the first in the country to have launched such a system,” claimed Choudhary.

Earlier this week, the department also launched two-minute videos in local tribal dialects informing about the NFSA provisions and the amount of food grains allotted for different types of beneficiaries on YouTube.

“This is another bid to inform the beneficiaries about their rightful entitlements in their local language so that they can lodge complaints against any irregularities in the distribution of food grains. We will be uploading similar short videos in various other local languages,” said the official.

The NFSA 2013 converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Government of India. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme and the PDS.

There have been several complaints by ration card holders and food security activists about siphoning off of food grains by the PDS dealers allegedly in connivance with district officials in different districts of Jharkhand.

“We appreciate the efforts of the department in bringing transparency to the food grains supply sector. However, there has to be action against the violating PDS dealers at the ground level to instil confidence among villagers.

“Complaints have been lodged against irregularities in food distribution done by PDS dealers in West Singhbhum district. Unfortunately, no action has been taken against the violators so far,” said Siraj Dutta, a Ranchi-based Right to Food activist.

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