MYSURU: Ghee packets supplied for additional nutrition are being openly sold in the market by the tribals to buy booze or meet other expenses. The tribals of BR Hills and other areas in Chamarajanagar district are selling the ghee packets worth `350 at throwaway prices.
The incident came to light when forest personnel at BR check posts seized 80 litres of ghee packets recently, raising doubts that it is sold to the shopkeepers in towns.
The Union government, under Additional Nutritional Scheme and through Social Welfare Department, supplies 15 kg ragi, 5 kg tur dal, 6 kg of green gram and horse gram, four kg jaggery, two litres of edible oil, one litre ghee and 45 eggs per month to fight malnutrition among tribals. But, the tribal community which doesn’t consume ghee, is selling the same to agents who come at their doorsteps at throwaway prices.
The Social Welfare Department supplies the essentials to around 5,000 Soliga, Jeenu Kuruba and Betta Kuruba families in the district. Meanwhile, a few tribal families even sell eggs to shops in lieu of money or any other food items like coffee and tea powder.
The eggs go back to street vendors who make omelettes, egg toast and egg fried rice in the nearby towns. Sources said there are a few cases where the tribal families sell dal as well. However, other foodgrains like ragi, grams, jaggery and edible oil are used by tribals for their own consumption.
Complaints from local non-governmental organisations, forest department officials and a few locals have put the Social Welfare, Revenue and Food and Civil Supplies officials on the toes. Sources said the officials have served notices to 22 families for selling ghee and food grains. Bommaiah, a tribal leader said they also visited tribal hadis and held meetings with tribals, appealing them not to sell the essentials.