This CSES study report was published in The Times of India on 20.05.2020
Following the lockdown, 97% of BPL Households (Yellow & pink cardholders) and 49% of non-priority White cardholders (read middle and upper middle class) reported reduced income. Among the latter, 21% bought ration for the first time or after a long time.A survey conducted by Kochi-based Centre for Socio-economic and Environmental Studies (CSES) found that there was an increased dependency on public distribution system across all sections of society.
WHAT CHANGED AND HOW
Using data collected through an online survey between April 28 and May 6, 2020, CSES tried to understand the changes in the consumption pattern and purchasing behaviour of Malayalis.
92% households, possessing ration cards, purchased items from ration shop during the lockdown. Among respondents with the ration card, 16% purchased rations for the first time or after a long period.
THERE WERE FIRST-TIME BUYERS
Regardless of the economic differences, all sections of Kerala availed PDS services during this time. Among non-priority cardholders, 21% was buying ration for the first time or after a long gap.
RISE IN THE RELIANCE ON NEIGHBOURHOOD KIRANA STORES
In pre-lockdown time, 38% of the respondent households used to purchase groceries from supermarkets or shopping malls. However, during lockdown period, this declined to 20%.
PLAYING IT SAFE
MALAYALIS DEVELOPED THE PRACTICE OF WEARING MASKS AND SANITIZING HANDS WHILE GOING FOR SHOPPING
SOME ITEMS WERE SHORT IN SUPPLY
Households did not face a shortage in the availability of essential goods such as food grains and other groceries but fish, meat and bakery products were a bit hard to come by.