Indore: The poorest section of society is unable to get food being distributed by IMC and district administration due to lacunae in the system, leaving the most vulnerable people on the brink of starvation. The Congress has alleged that problem has been compounded as politicians are calling shots in the distribution process.
Earlier, NGOs, various social and religious organisations use to provide food through their network to the poor, but now though many such organisations are preparing food, they are being distributed through the IMC and district administration, who are in turn depending on the men associated with the ruling party for the actual distribution on the ground.
On Sunday morning several women from nearby slum areas had gathered at the LIG gurudwara hoping to get food from the langar but in vain. Though the food was being prepared, the supervisors at the gurudwara made it clear that they would distribute it only through the administration.
Nani Bai Gokhale, a middle-aged woman who lives in Pancham ki Phel, who was standing outside the gurudwara said, “We have not received any free ration till now and my three kids are suffering from hunger pangs. In our locality, it is the supporters of local politicians who are cornering the food items.
What Rekha Bhalse of Choti Khajrana had to say was no different. “We had nothing to eat for the past two days and I had come to the gurudwara in desperation. But here too, I got nothing. Some of our neighbours had helped us for some period, but they too have stopped now.
Gauri Bai of Naya Basera has yet to receive free food packet. “We are eating only once a day and it is hardest on my small children,” she said.
Shobha Khatri - a widow with three daughters - Jyoti Khandekar and Veena Verma, all from Solanki Nagar too had a similar tale. “We are unable to get any work due to lockdown and we have not received any free food. The going is tough for us,” Shobha said. Veena pointed out that the IMC is offering 5 kg of potato at Rs 30 per kg, “Often we don’t have Rs 150 to spare. We have other things to purchase too,” she said.
Senior Congress leader KK Mishra said ruling party politicians have taken the distribution into their hands, and the officials are working on their direction. It beings right from the MLA and comes to the ward and mohalla level, and all of them are BJP supporters. I have written to the chief minister asking him to ensure that the administration officials take up distribution, and do so impartially so that the genuine people get the benefit of the free food.
BJP city president Gopi Krishna Nema said that theirs is a responsible political party and they are distributing food at their own level in all assembly segments in these trying times. “I believe all political parties should do it, and not politicise the issue.”
IMC commissioner Asheesh Singh said, “We are strengthening our delivery system on a daily basis. There are small problems, but the moment we come to know of them, we address it immediately.