“Huge crowds indicate need for more centres,” Delhi food right group raises concern over ration distribution for cardless

On the first day of distribution of dry ration to people without ration cards in Delhi, in compliance with orders of Supreme Court, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, (DRRAA) a food security NGO, highlighted the implementation challenges on the ground and urged the AAP government to immediately address the issue.

“Huge crowds indicate need for more centres,” Anjali Bhardwaj, Food rights activist and member of DRRAA said.

The Delhi government has started ration distribution to the people without cards at 280 schools on Sunday.

Thousands of people turned up to receive the ration but the crowd was too large over the resources that hardly 25% people could receive the ration, according to the NGO DRRAA.

From 5 June, the ration distribution started at several different locations and schools. MCD primary school, Seemapuri school, GBSS school- Badarpur, Kalyanpuri MCD school, East Delhi Nagar Nigam Prathmik Vidhyala, Gokulpuri School, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya to name a few.

A lady who came all the way from Chirag Delhi told “we started to que up from 5:00 am and at 10:30 am we were told to get back on Monday as stocks has not reached yet.”

In East Delhi Nagar Nigam Prathmik Vidhalaya, around 200 people gathered whereas only 40 tokens were distributed.

At GBSS school, Badarpur, more than 400 people turned up for the ration whereas only 100 tokens were issued. Rest were told to come on monday.

There was absolutely no distribution of the ration at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidhayala because of shortage of ration.

In some schools the token number was scribbled on the hands on the people who registered for the ration aids.

As per the Supreme Court order and Delhi government guidelines, aadhaar card is not mandatory for receiving rations by whose without ration cards. However in many schools it was clearly stated that aadhaar is mandatory.

A lady was denied ration because she didn’t have a mobile phone.

“How did having a mobile become the criteria for the poor to the have the access to the ration?,” she asks.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdown in Delhi, so many people lost their jobs and specially daily wagers struggled to fill their stomachs.

In May, Kejriwal announced free ration for all the cardholders in the capital for the month of May and June.

According to an audit of ration shops conducted by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, (DRRAA) a food security NGO, 40% of the shops visited by volunteers in the national capital were found closed during working hours. Of the 110 shops visited by the volunteers, only 44 were found to be distributing grains to ration cardholders.

On May 13, the Supreme Court had directed the Union of India and governments of Delhi, UP and Haryana to provide dry rations to all migrant workers in the Delhi National Capital Region. 

In Delhi, around 7.2 million people were expected to receive the aid under the scheme. However, 2 weeks later the government extended the scheme for another 2 million people who didn’t have the ration cards.