Manda Harish Reddy

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Placed at:   Chatra, Jharkhand

Education: M.S in Transportation Engineering, University of Florida, USA & B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Madras

Prior work experience:

  • Worked as a software developer for eight months in USA.

One key work during fellowship
Issue:

  • Chatra district’s functioning in PDS was very poor, non-transparent and unaccountable. As a result, leakages were very high. In addition, beneficiary distribution among the dealers was skewed. People were unaware of their entitlements. Malnutrition among children and poverty rates in Chatra were more than 40% and is concentrated among SCs, who constitute around one-third of the district population.

What was done:

  • Responsibility for implementing National Food Security Act comprehensively in the district was handed over to me by my D.C during which I tried to address most of the aforementioned issues. For instance, uniform distribution of beneficiaries among dealers was taken care of at the computerization of ration cards itself. Unlike before, priority was given to SCs, PVTGs, Widow-headed households, homeless, and poorest among OBCs while identifying Antyodaya beneficiaries. System of random checks by officers at district level was initiated to make dealers accountable. Wall-paintings denoting beneficiaries under a dealer and their corresponding entitlements were made. Awareness drives are conducted regarding entitlements including in the interior parts.

Impact:

  • As a result, Chatra has been selected as one of the pilot districts for implementing further reforms in PDS. Online allotment for dealers and using biometrics for issuing rations are few to mention. Further, more than 82% of households are covered under the Food Security Act and efforts are being taken up to include the excluded and poor, at the earliest.