Visit your area's ration shop and get the following details:

1. When does the ration shop open?

2. What are the items sold at the ration shop?

3. Compare the prices of rice and sugar from the ration shop with the prices at any other grocery shop. (For families below poverty line)

4. Find out

(a) Do you have a ration card?

(b) What has your family recently bought with this card from the ration shop?

(c) Are there any problems that they face?

(d) Why are ration shops necessary?

1. The ration shop opens at 10 a.m. but there is no daily crowd outside the shop. There is crowd usually on the days when the grain is being distributed to the PDS yellow card holders.

2. Wheat, rice, sugar, pulse at other eatables are sold at the ration shop. Kerosene oil is also sold at the shop because the poor usually don’t have gas-cylinders to cook food and rather prefer stoves which are available in the market at very low rate.

3. Comparison of the prices of rice and sugar from the ration shop and with the price at any other grocery shop (For families below poverty line)


Price per kg. at ration shop (Rs.)

Price per kg. at any other grocery shop

1. Wheat

2. Rice





4. (a) Yes, we have the ration card. We have PDS card issued for the families having income higher than the poverty line. We usually don’t use the card for the purchases because we can afford to buy from the markets and also buying from these shops is really cumbersome and time taking.

(b) Our family generally doesn’t buy anything from the ration shop because of several issues like quality of the commodities, cumbersome procedure, irregular supplies etc. We have kept the card for the emergency situations and moreover as an identity proof.

(c) Yes, people face several problems at the ration shops; these include low quality of rationed articles, opening of ration shops irregularly, cheating by the shopkeepers in terms of weighing, low supply of necessary items etc. As the profits for the ration shop owners is less thus they usually not very enthusiastic towards their job and are involved in corrupt practices and improper management of the shop.

(d) Ration shops are necessary because it is usually very difficult for the poor to get enough food for self and the family owing to the rising prices of food items in the open market. These ration shops allow them to buy the food grains even in their limited financial resources. These ration shops assist the government in distributing the subsidies to the poor in a proper way.

Next Question

Gather detailed information about some of the programmes initiated by the government, which have food components.

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