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

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

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.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Despite crisis, Modi's Hindutva strategy 'increased' mass base in society and polity

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Narendra Modi and his RSS brethren can qualify as masters of fake claims. There is a long lists of lies spread by RSS, BJP and their IT cell workers. It is not a personality disorder or lying with fear. They are trained to defend Modi and his government’s decisions in whatever possible way. They defended demonetisation by arguing that it is “an important step” in his fight against black money and corruption.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”