Hunger deaths continue to haunt Jharkhand, another death in Giridih

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Ranchi: One more alleged hunger death has taken place in Jharkhand. A 48-year-old woman died on Tuesday at Chirudih village in Jamua block of Giridih district, on November 5, 2019. Her husband has alleged that she died from hunger. With no food at home, the couple had been skipping on their meals for the past three days. Incidentally, the family has no ration card.

Ironically, it is the third alleged hunger death in Giridih in the last two years. Earlier, two persons had died in Tisri and Dumri blocks of Giridih district.

As far as Jharkhand is concerned, so far 23 alleged starvation deaths have taken place in the last three years.

In the most recent starvation death, Savitri Devi was alone when she died at her residence. Her husband, Rameshwar Turi had gone out in search of some daily wage work, so that he could make some arrangement for food. However, when he returned back home, towards the evening, he found his wife dead.

“We had not eaten anything since yesterday. She has died due to starvation,” said Turi, to media persons on Tuesday.

Listen what husband of the deceased has to say:

 

No food for Three Days

While on Wednesday when eNewsroom talked to Turi over the phone, he said, “We had not eaten since the last three days. Neither did we have any food at home nor the money to buy anything.”

He also refuted that his wife ill. “Savitri had no disease, she was fine,” he said, on being asked about his wife’s health.

Sixty-five-year-old Turi, is physically challenged. His right hand does not function properly. He said said, “I had not been getting work for a month now. Lack of works, even made me wash utensils at some eateries in exchange of food.”

starvation hunger deaths in jharkhand giridih food ration card
Ration card application form of Savitri Devi

No Ration Card, No Food

In earlier hunger death cases, it was found that victim’s ration card was cancelled as they had no Aadhaar and cards could not be linked. But in Savitri’s case, her Antoyodya card get cancelled without any reason and a new card never get made.

Now the family has no ration card in their name, “I had personally handed over the filled form to Block Supply Officer (BSO) Rajiv Ranjan a year back, but I am yet to get my ration card,” he added.

Also, Turi lives in a kachha house, despite eligible for a house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PM House Scheme).

Turi has three sons– two live separately, while the youngest one has gone to Kolkata in search of work.

The Block Development Officer (BDO) Binod Karmakar told eNewsroom, “Not having ration card is a serious issue and action will be taken if it is found true. I have told CO (Circle Officer) to inquire and submit the report as soon as possible.”

starvation hunger deaths in jharkhand giridih food ration card
Deceased Savitri Devi had Aadhaar, still not only her Antayodya card get cancelled and new one did not issue

Again no Post-Mortem

However, like all the alleged hunger death cases, post-mortem has not been initiated by the administration. The family has cremated Savitri Devi’s body.

BSO Rajiv Ranjan number remained out of range, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Sinha’s number was switched off, when eNewsroom tried contacting him.

Judicial inquiry demanded  

CPI-ML’s Dhanwar MLA Rajkumar Yadav visited the family and later told eNewsroom, “It is a starvation death, caused by the system and officials. First of all, Turi’s Antyodaya Card should not be cancelled, as he has no Pucca house.

The MLA also alleged, “And when his son went to the dealer to make the new card, Rs 2000 bribe has been asked from him.”

Yadav also mentioned that, “Turi is entitled for PM Awas and pensions also, but none has been given to him or his family. There should be a judicial inquiry in the case, else from Santoshi to Budni to now Savitri will keep dying. The Raghubar Das government should also take responsibility now, it has been 19 years of the creation of Jharkhand but still hunger deaths are continue.”

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In recent times, people-centric journalism is being done mostly by independent digital media. These organizations run on public support. Founded in 2017, eNewsroom India has been doing meaningful stories for over four years now. We practice ‘Old School Journalism’ and focus on under-reported stories from Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan regularly. Our opinion pieces come from across the country.

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