Khetia (Madhya Pradesh): Aiming to continue providing support to the vulnerable, the Central government has extended its free ration scheme till September this year.
However, Raju Soma Shinde, a poor villager from Khed Digar, a part of Khetia village which falls in Maharashtra has decided not to take this free ration citing he is ìAtmanirbharî now and did not need this free ration from now onwards.
Submitting an application to Shahdah tehsildar Milind Kulkarni, Raju asked the administration that his share of the ration should be kept in the grain bank so that other poor and deprived people could get their share regularly.
Narrating his story after submitting the application, Raju acknowledging Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's sensitivity towards the poor during the Covind-19 period said hundreds of families from Khetia have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) which ensures free five kilogram foodgrains per person per month and my family is one among the beneficiaries.
With normalcy back in the area and all restrictions eased, me and my family has now become self-reliant and we donít need free ration anymore, Raju said.
He added that even now a large number of people need free rations and they are running from one shop to another to get foodgrain and his family's share could benefit another family.
Administrative officers in Khetia appreciated Rajuís move and his honesty. Tehsildar Kulkarni said that Rajuís honesty could be the benchmark for many villagers here and they could surrender their share in future and subsequently more beneficiaries could get their share.
Earlier, in March 2020, the Centre had launched the free ration scheme to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce the hardships of people during the COVID pandemic.
The scheme, which started when India went into stringent lockdown two years back, was to end on March 31. But keeping a tab on the situation, the government on Saturday extended the scheme to provide 5 kilograms of grains free of cost to the poor for six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.