The Food and Civil Supplies Department has resumed biometric authentication for issuance of essential commodities at fair price shops, which was put on hold a couple of months ago.
For many senior citizens, the trip to the fair price shop is a must due to this as they cannot send proxies.
Srimathi Santhanam, a senior citizen who lives in Chrompet, said till last month their domestic help had been able to purchase the items. “We were worried for her safety and told her to go only when the place was not crowded. Now I am forced to go. I am worried about falling sick if the place is crowded and since I have to touch the same equipment that is touched by others,” she said.
Lalitha Kumar, a senior citizen and homemaker from Thoraipakkam, said this was her only outing this month. “Since bogus cards have all been removed due to smart card and integration with Aaadhaar data, why can’t they just give the stuff to the maid as they used to, at least till the end of the pandemic,” she asked.
Those who man the shops do not have any clarity on how to send authorised persons to collect the items, a consumer said. “The government should deliver the goods to the homes of senior citizens and differently abled at least till the end of the pandemic,” said T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist.
The department had estimated that some 4 lakh family cards were senior citizens. It had also provided them the option to authorise someone on their behalf to go collect goods.