We have now successfully ensured that in at least 15 villages, all households avail of their full quota of PDS rations every month. As per most accounts, this is the first time this has happened in these areas in independent India.
Our strategy is remarkably straight-forward:
- We first mobilize our saathis in the village and surround/gherao the PDS ration dealer.
- This is a slow process – eventually, with enough pestering and relentless pressure, the dealer relents and no longer makes false promises.
- What we seem to see is that the dealer is forced to tell his higher-ups that their commission is no longer guaranteed – such grain can no longer be diverted to government officials who sell it in the open market.
- Eventually, the system stabilizes with the villages getting their full quota of ration without any fuss, every month!