Needed: a quantum of solace

A ration card is all that stands between Shravan Kumar,a 32-year-old physically challenged labourer,and succour.

Written by Nainu Rohtaki | Panchkula | Published: February 8, 2009 2:10 am

Shravan Kumar,a 32-yr-old labourer,is still awaiting compensation from the Panchkula administration

A ration card is all that stands between Shravan Kumar,a 32-year-old physically challenged labourer,and succour.

Kumar lost his leg,wife and daughter in the Sector-20 wall collapse on July 12 last year,and has been running from pillar to post to secure Rs 4 lakh announced as compensation by the Panchkula administration.

Although living in the city for the last eight years,Kumar does not possess a ration card as he did not apply for one.

“I am an illiterate man and did not know where to go and whom to ask about the procedure to apply for a card,” said Kumar. But such answers do not melt the red tape that characterises the Indian bureaucracy.

Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula,Rajender Kataria,told Newsline: “When compensation is announced,a certain set of terms and conditions are to be followed. The compensation amount can be given only to a domicile of the state and we need proof of that.”

On a softer note,Kataria added that he will try to help the labourer in every possible manner,including financial help from the district administration funds.

“I lost everything that night. Now,I am the only earning hand left in the family — my two surviving sons,Akhilesh (9) and Rajnesh (12),are too young to work. Earning a livelihood has become impossible and I have been forced to sell my modest landholdings to secure money for my treatment. We survive on the scraps of food handed out to us by other labourers,” said Kumar.

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