We hear and read stories about farmers eating rats to ward off hunger. These sector of people, who toil in the harshness of climate to produce our staple food, are meted with injustice in terms of pricing for their produces, and also by paying toll to the staff in Direct Procurement Centres(DPC), where they sell their yield. We have been receiving complaints from the farmers of Nagapattinam District about the bribe they are forced to pay, to the staffs of the DPC, when they sell their crops.
A 5th Pillar member complained about the DPC staff taking bribes by 'automatically deducting' Rs.10 per bag of rice. He said his uncle who was a farmer, supplied around 300 bags per season and hence each farmer like his uncle lost Rs.3000, as bribe (forcibly deducted from their supply payment). In other words, he said that they would make his uncle sign a 'payment received voucher' for the full amount, but each payment would be minus this bribe money.
5th Pillar's Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Mr.R.V. Nambi, called the Vigilance Department and made the complaint. A team from Chennai was sent to Nagapattinam and the DPC staff Mr.Mathiazhagan(designation Pattiyal Ezhuthar), of Periathumpur, 5 km from Velankanni to Thirupoondi, Thirukuvalai road, was caught red handed and suspended from his job. This action and reprimand would not have been in effect unless the concerned party had taken the initiative.
People’s lack of conscientiousness is the reason of one inflicting injustice onto another. This is were our constant campaign and awareness among the budding generations, would create a clear perspective and social alertness that would reap a better society.