“We didn’t get ration, but did get yelled at”
Three hours had already been spent waiting for a ration. But now those hours were waisted. The ration would not come, not today. The policeman shouted at him to leave. The policeman told him that he had to wait until he received a phone call before he came for rations. The policeman was wrong; that phone call would never come.
Many in Jugiana are into this snare of disorganisation. Whether they are able to get rations to eat depends on them finding an understanding and decent policeman.
One of our contacts has been outstanding. He’s managd to master the portal for registering people for government rations. That’s no mean feat; most others in his community have been struggling with how to fill it out. There’s little help. The FAQ section of the portal only answers questions about the corona virus, and has nothing about how to use the portal. So our contact has stepped into the gap, helping those around him to fill in the app.
But our contact fell into the snare of disorganisation himself. He registered and received a text saying which day he could come for rations. But on the chosen day, he waited for a call. Why wouldn’t he? People were returning from the police stations, telling of police yelling at them for not waiting for a call. The portal itself seemed to sometimes recommend waiting for a call. But the call never came. His allotted day came and went.
He went to try to get rations to eat. He walked to the Jeevan Nagar police station. There, they told him to go to Focal Point police station, so he walked on.
At Focal Point, many people were gathered trying to get rations. Some had been called, some had received texts and got caught by the snare of disorganisation. At one point, a crowd gathered and police beat people back and shut the gates.
But our contact is a resourceful and resilient chap. He managed to speak to a police officer, and explain that he had missed his slot and so had many others. That police officer asked him to bring the others tomorrow. Even though their ration period had passed, the police officer would arrange for them to get rations. The following day, our contact brought others from his community who had missed their ration slots. The police officer was true to his word, and they received rations.
The government is stepping up and starting to alleviate the crisis in Ludhiana. But simple changes can help many more. Whether you have rations to eat should not depend on the luck of finding a police officer who will be decent and caring, or a police officer who will yell at you until you go away.