Skip to main content

Aadhaar "played a role" in 10 starvation deaths out of 15 in Jharkhand: Right to Food Campaign

Counterview Desk
A year ago, on September 28, an 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega district reportedly died of starvation, months after her family’s ration card was cancelled because it was not linked to their Aadhaar number. With no school mid-day meals available during her Durga Puja holidays, Santoshi Kumari had gone with barely any food for nearly eight days before she died.


A Right to Food Campaign, Jharkhand, statement on the first anniversary of the death of Santoshi Kumari:

Exactly a year ago, 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari of Simdega died of starvation while asking her mother for rice. Her family’s ration card was cancelled for not being linked to Aadhaar. In the last one year, at least 15 people have died due to hunger. Of these, 6 were Adivasis, 4 Dalits, and 5 of backward castes. All these deaths happened due to the denial of security pensions or rations from the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Of these, 5 families did not even have a ration card and 5 families faced sustained issues with Aadhaar-based biometric authentication (ABBA), leading to denial of rations. In addition, 6 people were denied their social security pensions. In 10 cases, Aadhaar-related issues played a role in the hunger deaths.
The issue of starvation and malnutrition is not restricted to only these families. A fair share of Jharkhand’s population does not get sufficient nutrition. Close to 40% of under-5 children are malnourished.
The Jharkhand government has not initiated any action to stop the persistent starvation deaths in the state. Deleted ration cards have not been reinstated, Aadhaar-based biometric authentication system has not been discontinued, left out families have not been provided ration cards and Aadhaar continues to remain mandatory for welfare schemes.
To stop to starvation deaths in Jharkhand, the Right to Food Campaign demands the following:

  • Aadhaar should not be mandatory for any welfare scheme and Aadhaar-based biometric authentication should be discontinued.
  • The list of families whose ration cards were cancelled and those whose names were struck of pension lists for not linking their Aadhaar, should be made public immediately and also re-start their rations and pensions with immediate effect.
  • The Public Distribution System should be made universal in rural areas, and PVTG families and single women should be given Antyodaya cards.
  • Private ration dealers should be removed immediately and replaced with Gram Panchayat/Women’s organizations.
  • To improve the situation of nutrition in the state, pulses and edible oil should be made available at affordable rates in the Public Distribution System.
  • The maternity benefit entitlement should be increased from Rs. 5000 (under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana) to Rs. 6000 as mandated in the National Food Security Act. It should also not be restricted only to the first child.
  • All pregnant and lactating women should be given 5 eggs per week.
  • All children should be given 5 eggs per week in Anganwadis and Mid Day meals.
  • Anganwadis should be established in all hamlets of the state. Education system in Anganwadis to be strengthened. And children to be served hot-cooked food instead of ready-to-eat food.
  • All elderly, widow, and disabled persons in the state should be given social security pension of at least Rs. 2000 per month on time.
  • Jharkhand's MGNREGA wage rate should be increased to at least the state's minimum wage.
  • All households to be given right to 200 days of work per year in MGNREGA.
  • All MGNREGA workers to be paid within 15 days under any circumstances.
---
 Click HERE for the list of starvation related deaths in Jharkhand

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.