The Achik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) Betasing unit of South West Garo Hills has sought restraint by the administration after a video by a local youtuber, Bandi Ch Marak, allegedly questioned the distribution of fortified rice as being of plastic.
AHAM said the video, made by Bandi, raised an alarm through Garo Hills after he claimed that plastic rice was being distributed through the PDS shops, whereas the supply department filed an FIR for the video for misrepresentation.
The FIR was filed by the deputy director of food and civil supply after the video created panic across Garo Hills.
“The lack of knowledge about fortified rice led to him making the video which went viral. This misinformation should have been clarified by the department concerned. As the president of AHAM Betasing, the FIR filed by the civil servant does not seem to be one of a responsible public servant,” said Sairill Marak.
Marak felt that misinformation arises due to lack of awareness and threatening illiterates and those without information were not the way to deal with the situation.
“We expected mature action like counselling and information being provided of the aspects of fortified rice. Bandi has acknowledged his lack of knowledge and is ready to rectify it if he was satisfactorily informed. Filing an FIR is threatening him and not the way to go. Even the two officers who went along with the public servant had little knowledge of fortified rice,” added the AHAM president.
AHAM felt that awareness of new schemes was a must to ensure there was no misunderstanding.
“The awareness of fortified rice should be done by introducing it as a meal to the CM, DC and other dignitaries so that people understand how beneficial it is for everyone. We are hopeful that public servants act responsibly instead of threatening social workers and freeze the fundamental rights of speech and expression, so that the situation does not flare up further,” he added.