Skip to main content

Govt of India reacted to just 2 of 20 starvation deaths in a yr: 7 weren't issued ration card, 5 had aadhaar issues

By Our Representative
Close on the heels of a series of reports on starvation deaths Jharkhand, the Right to Food Campaign (RFC) has revealed that over the past year, at least 20 persons have succumbed to starvation across the country – 12 in Jharkhand, three in Karnataka, three in Uttar Pradesh and two in Odisha. The deceased range from 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari to 67-year-old Etwariya Devi.
"All the victims were either Dalit, Adivasi, Other Backward Class (OBC) or Muslim. In at least 11 cases, Aadhaar-related failures directly contributed to starvation. In all the cases, the victims’ intake of food drastically reduced due to disruptions in access to subsidised foodgrains and social security pensions", says RFC.
According to RFC's analysis of the 20 deaths, "Seven of the starvation victims were not issued a ration card. In the latest case of Chintaman Malhar in Ramgarh (Jharkhand) the entire village had not been issued ration cards. Ration cards of two families were cancelled as they were not linked with Aadhaar."
In an email alert to Counterview, it adds, "In five of the cases, either no member of the family could authenticate his/her identity through Aadhaar-based biometric authentication (ABBA), or the one who could was unable to go to the ration shop due to old age or illness. In one case, the dealer did not give ration even after successful Aadhaar-based biometric authentication."
RFC further says, "At least seven of the victims were entitled to social security pension." However, it regrets, "Premani Kunwar’s widow pension amount of a few months was transferred into the bank account of some other person which was linked with her Aadhaar number. A few days before her death when Etwariya Devi attempted to withdraw her pension, she was told that the electronic transaction for withdrawal of her pension has failed. However, her bank records show a transaction of Rs 600 (the monthly old age pension amount in Jharkhand) on the same day."
Then, RFC adds, "Savitri Devi was sanctioned a widow pension in 2014, but did not receive her first pension instalment till four years later as her bank account was not linked with Aadhaar. It is quite likely that the other victims who were to receive social security pension could not access this entitlement for one reason or another."
RFC points out, "Except the probe ordered into the death of Santoshi Kumari and post-mortem for Meena Musahar, the Union government has not reacted to any of these tragic deaths. Instead of taking corrective measures, state government and local administration expend their energy in denying starvation as the cause of these deaths – even harassing the surviving members of the family in some cases."
It adds, "For every person who has died, hundreds other languish with hunger, undernutrition and illness. Instead of expanding people’s legal entitlements to social support, the last few years have seen a brutal attack on people’s right to food, work, employment, natural resources, education etc."
In the light of this, RFC has demanded, as immediate measure, criminal proceedings against officials and functionaries whose lapses have led to the starvation deaths; strict implementation of all social and economic legislations and Supreme Court orders; universalization of the Public Distribution System and social security pensions; amendment of the National Food Security Act to make subsidised pulses and edible oil legal guarantees under the PDS and mandatory inclusion of eggs in midday meals and Anganwadis extended to holiday periods; and delinking of Aadhaar from all public services.
List of 20 starvation deaths, released by RFC

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.