Passports to entitlements!!!
Ration card is made out to be an all important document for the citizen of India, they also serve as an important document to establish identity of the person or family. Basically this document is a tool basis which a family can access the benefits of Public Distribution System in India. The Antyoday and Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards enable families to buy food grains, kerosene, sugar etc at subsidized price. In nutshell it is a document which provided food security to the poorest of the poor. However, rampant corruption and requirement of series of other documents in acquiring this document has not permitted marginalized nomadic and de-notified communities to acquire Ration Cards.
Consequent to our continuous lobbying some policy amendments have been made by the concerned authorities in the issuance guidelines which is making it feasible for these communities to acquire Antyoday and BPL ration cards.
The pictures talk of nothing but the abject poverty in which these families survive and yet it has taken them 6-8 months to acquire Ration Cards.
Hakanbhai and Sujaben Meer are from Deodar in Banaskatha. Their traditional occupation has been begging. But age has taken its toll and the couple no longer can walk the distance required to go to work. They have two daughters whom they do not send to work because of safety issues. The daughters go for work only if they have a trustworthy company.
The efforts of VSSM has made it possible for these family to secure documents like Voter's ID card, Ration Card, Adhar UID, inclusion of names in BPL list. The couple also receives Rs. 800 in pension under the Vayvandana Scheme.
Pasabhai and Bhagiben Saraniyaa are from Deesa. The couple has three sons. The family has been leading a nomadic life for decades now. Their traditional occupation of sharpening knives and tools has kept them on the move all these years. Most of all these has adversely impacted their sons prospects of receiving education.
The collective efforts of VSSM and Pasabhai have helped them secure all the essential citizenry documents, inclusion of their name in BPL list and a residential lot to build a home. Lately the family has also received Rs. 45,000 from the government for the construction of a house. The family now dreams of having a permanent address. The youngest son has been able to go to school and excels in his class.