It was a cold day in December.
She sat on the rickety chair and could not believe her eyes when she read that 718 Quintal of rice have been wasted within 16 kilometers of a place where people died of starvation.
She sat and read the report that suggested that three-months' worth food grains should not be transported to hard-to-access places during the monsoons when there would be floods and the material would be stored under open air. She retched as she read that most of it had to be disposed off because of a rodent infestation, but whatever the villagers could salvage from the rodents, they ate. They fell sick too. Plague. Half the village was no more in a few days. But then, these were landless workers. They did not have land. They did not have possession.
The report went on to the poor Anganwadi worker who wore her blue sari and carried out her duties with rigorous faith. She was not paid for her extra efforts to make the food that was doled out for free more tasty. Rather, she paid out of her own pocket to feed the 150-odd people who needed food. If not rice, then the water in which it had been boiled fyan. The poor woman was finally paid some of the money when she displayed receipts for whatever she could get to the distant district office after she'd been there multiple times. And her efforts were discouraged.
"Gorib lokeder eto ichhe thaka bhalo noy." (The poor should not have so many wishes) was what was written by an officer.
Picture this. India is no longer a developing country. This has stopped. And now we look forward to our future. We look.