In 2015 the Tamil Nadu government had announced its ambitious programme of smart ration family card. The cards were made available with biometric parameters.
It was launched so that a database completely based on biometric data could be recorded under the under national population register and Aadhar. "This will put an end to bogus/ghost ration cards. The shops will be automated with an electronic point of sale (E-POS) device and the end server will manage all the transactions," a senior government official had said.
Cut to 2017, families in Tamil Nadu have their family cards as promised but unfortunately no ration. Ironically, the government wanted to end ghost ration cards, but seems like they have not been able to avoid the bogus identities.
Now in Tirupur, Lord Vinayaka can officially buy his ration. Lord Ganesh is commonly known as the obstacle remover, seems like in this case he has become the problem itself. A Times of India reports mentions how N Nallasivam of Vadugampalayam found the Lord Vinayaka staring benignly at him while Nallasivam's name figured beside it and so did his personal details on the smart card.
While in most cases you would call it a miracle, for Nallasivam it became a curse since the card was as good as useless to him. He would not be able to avail of any ration.
The administration had even launched programmes in July 2016 to weed out irregularities in the smart card distribution and creation system. Clearly, something is amiss in their endeavours.
You would deem it to be a one off case but recently another similar incident in the state prove that things are not being done systematically. 64-year-old from Kamalapuram in Salem received her smart card with actress Kajal Agarwal's photo printed on it. Some have been issued cards with photos of actors, trees, dogs and more.
So it seems like either the officials verifying these documents have been negligent in their duty or the people in the town make for good impersonators of the people or things that end up on the ration card.