I am one of the fortunate ones to own a Ration card. Why one may wonder, because getting one nowadays has become a herculean task. My ration card had travelled from Kerala to West Bengal to Maharashtra, back to West Bengal, to Tamil Nadu, to Kerala, to Tamil Nadu again (3 shifts) in the last 27 years. All along there was no problem at any location until we hit Tamil Nadu in 2003 at Sivakasi. When ever we move from State to State we had to surrender the old card and get a surrender certificate. In the new state we had to apply to the civil supplies department enclosing the surrender certificate of the previous state. As soon as we reached Sivakasi in 2003 from Kerala we promptly applied at the district Civil supply Office in Virudhu Nagar for the same. Never ever think, going through this system is an easy one as one’s energy gets zapped and the footwear thins away when the precious ration card comes to your hand as we had to wait for nearly 41/2 years before we got this one and that too after a month of our shifting to Tirunelveli also in Tamil Nadu.

If you read the paragraph below it will give you the real picture, how the precious card came to my hand.

When I shifted from Kerala to Tamil Nadu I produced my surrender certificate to the civil supplies office in Virudhu Nagar but I was told that no such things would be accepted. I was aghast. They asked me to apply afresh and I did the same. But it was easier said than done. I waited for nearly a year and when I went to enquire, I was told that my application was missing. What callousness! The person in charge coolly asked me to submit another application. If I fret and fume I was sure I would be the loser. So like a defeated soldier I complied with what was asked of me. Then there was again the gestation period, only the baby came at the end of the fourth year and by that time I had shifted again to another place.

We had to start all over again; only consolation was, it was a Tamil Nadu ration card. To register this in Tirunelveli we had to get an endorsement on our card from Sivakasi that our name has been deleted from their records and along with that we had to apply at Tirunelveli for updating our card with local address. This meant a 240 Kms. travel up and down and 3-4 weeks delay which we grudgingly bore and we finally got the card endorsed to our Tirunelveli address.

Barely had we settled down, before the end of the year we decided to move again. As usual, our grind with the civil supplies office continued. We had to delink our ration card at Tirunelveli and up date at new location which incidentally was Dindigul. We were told normally it would take a week at Tirunelveli for the delink and a week at Dindigul for the re link and update. But to us it took nearly 2 months and we are proud to say we do possess our RATION CARD.

We have been honest to the core and did not pay a single paisa to any one to get all this transfers ratified on our ration cards. We hear of millions of bogus ration cards and the ease at which one is able to get one either new or transferred, from our friends, acquaintances and relatives through contacts etc.

Many asked me why I am running around like a top for a document which I hardly use for the purpose it is meant for. I too have asked that question to myself but try getting a gas connection, or if you need any thing to be done from a Government office, the first requirement would be to produce the original ration card.

I wonder why a genuine person has to undergo this kind of harassment to get one’s due and when we will have a system which is transparent, customer friendly with a fixed and logical time frame so that so many man hours could be saved and so much of expenses can be reduced leading to better productivity.

Jai Hind!