Act and Fighting Corruption
story is taken from an email received from Parivartan by CHRI on
15 March 2004
90% of the food meant to be distributed to poor people under the
Public Distribution System is being siphoned off. These are the
findings of surveys done by Parivartan in a small area in Welcome
Colony in East Delhi.
all this changed drastically after the records of ration dealers
of this area were obtained using Right to Information and were made
public. 82 families that Parivartan spoke to on 13th March informed
that everyone in this area are now getting their full entitlements
at right prices. This has happened for the first time in this area
and it has happened merely as a result of the records becoming public.
obtained the sales registers and stock registers of some ration
dealers in Welcome area in east Delhi in October 2003 using Right
to Information. The records related to distribution of wheat, rice
and kerosene during June 2003. The information contained therein
was disseminated widely in this area during the month of December
2003. The people were aghast to see that rations had been siphoned
off in their names. The ration dealers had all this while been maintaining
that they were not receiving stocks from the government. Parivartan
workers went house to house to verify the entries in the sales registers.
exercise revealed that out of a total of 182 families that we spoke
to, 142 families did not receive a single grain of wheat during
the month of June. 167 families did not receive a single grain of
rice. Out of a total of 4650 Kgs of wheat supposed to have been
distributed to the people, only 595 Kgs had actually been received
by the people. The rest 87% found its way to the black market. Out
of a total of 1820 Kgs of rice supposed to have been distributed
as per daily sales registers, only 110 Kgs was received by the people.
Balance 94% was siphoned off.
all this changed after records were made public in December. During
our survey on 13th March, people informed that one of the dealers
has now been giving correct quantities of rations at right prices
for the last two months to everyone and another one gave correct
rations last month.
one Kerosene Oil Dealer, whose records were also obtained, and who
had publicly apologized for his past mistakes and had promised in
December that he would improve, is still not giving proper supplies.
Hence, it was decided with the people that the records of this dealer
along with the findings of the survey should be presented to the
police with a request to lodge an FIR against him for diversion
of essential commodities.
process of obtaining records of ration dealers and dissemination
of Information contained therein has been quite interesting. A series
of public meetings took place during January and February, some
of which were also attended by the ration dealers association. The
people would discuss the conduct of various shopkeepers in these
meetings and decide whose records to procure, whom to condone and
who to proceed against. This is real empowerment of the people.
The people can themselves obtain records and set the dealers straight.