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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.