1,000 WORDS

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -


FLAWED SCHEME Ramkali, 55, a Gond woman from Chan­dra­garh vil­lage in Din­dori district of Mad­hya Pradesh, cooks on a chulha or clay oven de­spite be­ing a ben­e­fi­ciary of the Prad­han Mantri Ujjwala Yo­jana, the cur­rent govern­ment's wel­fare scheme which aims at pro­vid­ing 50 mil­lion con­nec­tions to women from fam­i­lies be­low the poverty line. Ramkali's cylin­der has been ly­ing in one cor­ner of the kitchen for the past three months as it has been ex­hausted. She is not re­fill­ing as it is ex­pen­sive. She will need at least `800 to re­fill the cylin­der be­sides `160 for go­ing to and re­turn­ing from Din­dori town, where a re­fill­ing fa­cil­ity is avail­able. In­stead, she can read­ily get fire­wood from the jun­gle for free and light her chulha, no mat­ter how pol­lut­ing it is. How­ever, she agrees that an con­nec­tion is a cleaner op­tion and would have used it if it were not for the con­straints.

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