Saswat Singhdeo

Bhadrak: Despite running from pillar to post and requesting the State government for almost a year to provide her a ration card, 49-year-old Panchali Jena’s pleas had fallen on deaf ears. But little did she know that one tweet will change her life.

Panchali, a resident of Anharpur village under Dhamnagar block of Bhadrak, had not received ration for a year as she didn’t have a ration card.

As per reports, after knowing about the plight of Panchali, a youth of Bhagwanpur panchayat took to Twitter to draw the attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Food Supplies Minister and District Collector to the issue.

Surprisingly, on August 26, within hours of the tweet, Minister for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Ranendra Pratap Swain directed the district collector Gyanaranjan Das to take steps immediately. Later, Das asked the district supply officer to investigate the matter.

Acting on the direction, an official went to the dealer and found Panchali’s name in the beneficiary list. When the officer came to know that Panchali had not received ration since October 2018, 1.80 quintal rice was given to her immediately.

“After repeated requests we finally got the ration, but the ration card is yet to be issued,” said Chaitanya Jena, Panchali’s husband.

Santosh Mohapatra, the youth who had tweeted urging the administration to help Panchali said, “There should be a high level investigation into the matter and all those who are responsible for this lapse should be brought to book.”

On the other hand, Bhagwanpur Sarpanch, Prafulla Patra refuted the allegations and said, “The allegations are not true. We didn’t know anything about her ration card.”

Meanwhile, the district administration has said that the Block Development Officer (BDO) and Civil Supplies Officer (CSO) have been directed to launch an investigation into the case.

Sub-collector Pitambar Samal said, “We have asked the BDO and CSO to investigate the matter. Strict action will be taken against the people who are responsible for the lapse.”