No clean up, no rice subsidy in India
Rice subsidy to villagers in Puducherry, India will be held hostage until they clean up their act. This, as Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi announced on Saturday that distribution of free rice will be halted if villagers will continue to defecate in public and not manage their own garbage.
This decision is brought about by Bedi’s disappointment on the local representative’s lack of action with their village’s sanitation problem.
“In all our rural visits we have seen community leaders putting forth various demands on behalf of the people, but I have never seen any of them impatient at cleaning up the village in their constituency. Which is the cause of several diseases also in the village through contamination of water,” she said.
Counting on community leaders to take the lead in this transformation, the governor has given the concerned authorities a month’s notice to clean up their respective areas to be entitled for the free rice. The notice period ends on the last day of May.
By June, the distribution of free rice will be based on earned certifications.
In a statement, cited by the Indian Express, she said the free distribution of rice “shall be conditional to the certification of the village being open defecation free and free of strewn garbage and plastics by submitting a joint certificate given by the MLA and the Commune Commissioner to the Civil Supplies Commissioner. The certification shall also be cross checked to ensure its veracity.”
To add teeth to this rule, Bedi has also urged the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to support only NGO who has inbuilt waste management as integral part of its training programs.