They Face Extreme Poverty, but have APL Ration Cards
Slum dwellers and as many as eight Scheduled Caste families in Chemmamvila no longer live below poverty line (BPL), if their ration cards - blue - are to be believed, which show them as belonging to the Above Poverty Line (APL) category.
The situation here is such that as many as eight families who are in SC category posses APL card since 2008 and are exempted from all benefits.
They live in houses that are virtually huts and have no fixed income. But now they have no other option but to get the benefits that are meant for a blue card holder.
These eight families are not alone. There are many others, who are poorer, who have been given APL cards. With the blue card these poor families are denied foodgrains and other items available at ration rates. Most of them qualify for BPL status as they earn only around Rs 300 a day; possess no pucca house, land, or other costly items; but for the government they fall in the APL category.
The APL card holders here alleged that they have been visiting various government offices for getting their cards changed. But till now nothing has happened. “The government gave us four cents of land and Rs 4,000. Nothing more was done. Even though my name is included in the panchayat’s BPL category list I have been given APL card and is exempted from the benefits,” said Abdul Vaheed, a resident.
Fed up with the situation as many as five families recently left their houses in the colony as moved elsewhere. The remaining residents too would like to move, but they do not have a piece of land to go. “If the government is not ready to fulfill our small demands, politicians need not come here during the elections,” said the residents of the colony.