A rupee's worth

Jyotika Sood reveals how cooperative societies believe in taking an extra rupee from farmers but not sparing 78 paise

By Jyotika Sood
Last Updated: Sunday 07 June 2015

jyotika soodA long queue outside the Cooperative Society shop in Dhanav village in Bundi district in Rajasthan indicated it was a busy day. Friendly banter over bidhis was interspersed with agitated discussions over urea prices.

But the wait was proving long and a few in the queue tried to push their way front, sending an elderly farmer tumbling down and scattering a wad of Rs 10 notes and a few coins.

A few farmers helped him get back on feet. I tried to help collect the money scattered on the shop front. A kid who had accompanied the farmer offered him water. But the farmer was not interested. He wanted to count the shabby Rs 10 notes, make sure all his money was there. After two rounds of counting, disappointment was writ large on the elderly farmer's face. He was a rupee short.

A bit amused, I asked him the reason for his disappointment: “Kya hua baba”.

The old man was, by then, almost in tears. I had collected Rs 279, penny-by-penny, now I have just Rs 278 and I won't get the fertiliser. I was a little perplexed: the price mentioned on the bag said Rs 278.78. Surely the store could spare the elderly farmer 78 paisa. No, said the other farmers: they insist on Rs 279, sometimes Rs 280. “You cannot argue with these people in the cooperative society who give fertilizer. The moment you raise your voice, your quota is canceled.” They added the cooperative society people makes a lot of money this way.

That conversation on Re 1 took me back times when every anna and paisa was important. Perhaps the Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar talks about various benefits to farmers and subsidies are pointless.

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  • Dear Sood, You have done the

    Dear Sood,

    You have done the right thing in reflecting the reality. Congratualtions for the same.

    It is the fact in general and more particularly in the rural villages. When the denomination below Rs 1 is not valid, then what is the relevance or validity for fixing the rate of any product below Rs.1???????????????

    Some times system will be made sitting in the AC rooms with out knowing or understanding or enable to imagine the the outcome of the things what they are doing for the people. This is exactly what we are all feeling the gap between the Lab to Land.

    Let us do more in this direction so that the farmers or the people who are already victims of poverty and further with vulnerability.

    Hope the authorities will do the needful for avoiding such valueless and people's barriers.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • Thank you for raising this

    Thank you for raising this concern, Jyotika.You will find these type of stories every where, across India. We need to go with error proofing. What I mean is, price tag should not be in change like Rs 278.78 or even 279.00. It should be in round figure like 275.00 or 280. What will happen with this is 1) No one will have to pay anything extra. 2) People will not be harass for change. Try to think in this way

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • superb article!:)

    superb article!:)

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • Very Nice article :)

    Very Nice article :)

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply