A woman from Alappuzha in Kerala lost her handbag the other day. She lost it in the chaos at Cherthala Taluk Office where she went to register her complaint about not being included in the draft list of 'priority ration card' holders which would make her eligible for subsidised ration supplies. Kerala is on the last leg of finalising the conversion from the earlier 'Below Poverty Line' (BPL) list to 'priority list' as mandated by the Food Security Act (FSA), 2013. 

 

The woman gave news in a Malayalam news paper with details of the things lost. 

Besides ration card, pan card ATM card and Aadhar, she lost the keys to her house, vehicle and bank locker.
Here's a list of other valuables she had in the bag.

  • iPhone 7
  • Ten sovereigns of gold.
  • 2 lakh in cash
  • Land titles of two plots- a 50 cents in Kanjikkuzhy and another 70 cents in Muhamma in Alappuzha. 

She has announced a reward of Rs. Three lakhs for those who returns the bag.

 

Now the question is why on earth was she in the queue to get the 'Priority' (BPL) tag.  Well, that's the irresistible lure of freebies. 

 

As per the FSA, priority ration card holders will get rice at Rs.3 a kg, wheat at Rs.2 a kg along with other provisions at subsidised rates. As per FSA, each person in the priority ration card is eligible for 5 kg grain a month. 

 

The taluk and district supply offices are witnessing huge crowds these days as people throng there to get their families to be on the priority list that would entitle them for subsidised ration. Widespread irregularities had been reported in the draft list published recently. Complaints are piling up as poor people were left out while thousands of ineligible families found a place among the beneficiaries.

 

If a person listed in the ration card is an employee of government/PSU/service pensioner, the household will not be eligible for priority as per FSA. Those who are in the income tax net, individuals who own house with 1,000 sq.ft or more, land above one acre, four-wheelers and those who have a monthly income above Rs. 25,000 will not come under the priority list. As per an estimate, nearly 48% of the households in Kerala would come under the priority list.