It is already just over a week in Tamilnadu. I visited some villages in the last couple of days, including my own. I came to know a very interesting difference between the Public Distribution System (PDS) of Tamilnadu and West Bengal. The Tamilnadu PDS system gives more variety of food materials than West Bengal. It includes rice, kerosine, sugar, wheat (the four items available in W. Bengal), soaps, refined palm oil, spices, tea, shampoo, maida, pulses, spice powder, mustard ... the list goes long, and provided at cheaper rate... with some of the consumer items at market price. Most importantly, rice, the main source of food for people comes with some real big benefits. The families living below poverty line (less than $1 income per day) can buy upto 35 kilograms (77 pounds) at a rate of one rupee per kilo, and all other families can get upto 20 kilograms at one rupee per kilo.
I also noticed something else. The number of beggars is minimal, in comparison to what I used to see 10 years ago. Although I saw some child beggars on the streets, in bus stations and in railway stations, (a good number of them from North of India, and not original Tamil population!), I did not see even a single child worker in any shop till now. That's really amazing, how many governments and people have taken up pro-active steps to ensure eradication of some of these social evils. Today is a break day for me. I plan to take good rest....spending at least 12 hours in bed!