Closed ration shops leave public in utter despair

Nihad Amani and Mohammad Hussain

Hyderabad: It has been eight days since lockdown was imposed.  The hard time began for the public since then, especially the daily wage workers and the homeless.

Their miseries are alarmingly rising since then.

“The white ration card holders would be given 12 kg of rice and Rs.1500,” said chief minister KCR as the lockdown began on March 23.

This announcement sounded to be a relief to all those who could claim it. But it is relief only belief, not reality.

A survey by  revealed that none of the ration shops are functioning.

The people in front of the closed doors of the shops are saying, “Sahab, humlog pichle sath din se intezaar karre, humlog roz kam ko jate aur ate ate sauda late aur udhar mangne gae bhi tu koi bhi nahi dere.” Stated women in Kishan Bagh, a locality in the Old City.  

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This roughly meant that they are waiting for the ration shops to open. Also, they do not have grains and the money to buy them.

Ration shop dealers said that the grains promised by the government have not been delivered yet.  They also said they have no idea when the rice, wheat and other grains would be delivered.

The shops have replaced the biometric system with the tokens.

“I have six children and I am the only income-earning person in the family. I have received no money or help from any quarter for the past seven days moreover. My auto-rickshaw has been seized by the police and I cannot pay the penalty, said an auto driver in Azampura.

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“My child is sick and his hospital expenses are very high. Moreover, this lockdown has made it very difficult for me to run the affairs. The house where I was working has removed me from service.  Now I am jobless and in mounting debts,” stated Sri Laxmi.

Aise hi ration ke intezaar mai marjate humlog. Wo virus nahi, bhuk mar deti humlog ko (We would die waiting for ration and hunger, not be the virus),” said a 60-year-old woman, who lived with her 4 little grandchildren. Her son and daughter-in-law have passed away recently in Shaikpet Nala.

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