Decline of the Kerala PDS
Until a decade ago, owning a ration shop in Kerala was a status symbol. Abdul Rehman, a retail ration dealer for more than two decades, always enjoyed a special status in Ambayathode village of Kozhikode district, with over 1,700 ration card holders on his roll. Rehman was one of the 14,236 retail dealers who catered to close to 91 per cent of the state population in a model public distribution system. According to government officials, there was one ration outlet within two km radius of every household. But that was then.