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Jharkhand: Deaths due to starvation reveal ugly political truths

  • Some of the poor families are just being issues white ration cards that provide them access to cheap kerosene only.
  • Some families are being denied cheap ration because their cards are not linked to Aadhaar.
  • Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das, meanwhile, allege that the starvation incidents are being politicised by the opposition.
Jharkhand Deaths due to starvation reveal ugly behind the scene details
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Death due to starvation could be a normal thing in the poor sections of the society in India, especially when the entire population is dependent on ration card. However, here's the catch when it comes to a reality check in the recent starvation cases in Jharkhand. According to a recent regulation by the Jharkhand government, subsidised food grains will not be made available to families who do not have their Aadhaar and ration card linked. 

The reeling poverty and the added regulation has now started taking a toll on the poor population in the state. The first incident that brought the government under fire was the death of a 11-year-old girl in Simdega. Local activists claimed that she died of starvation because he family could not furnish their Aadhaar numbers to receive their PDS quota. The second incident of the death of a 40-year-old rickshaw puller in Dhanbad's Jharia did rattle the conscience of the government and they alleged pulled the plugs on the PDS-Aadhaar linking order.

However, the problem does not die out there. There are other associated issues that the poor are still facing in several parts of the state. A reality check by India Today proved that 35 poor families of ward no 9 of Dhanbad were found missing from the ration-card roster. Close to 60 other families are not being given their PDS supplies because they do not have their Aadhaar card linked to their ration cards. Many families in Simdega rue that they have not even been issued pink or yellow ration cards, despite eligibility, and have been issued white cards, which only allows them access to Kerosene.

Despite the evidence, CM Raghubar Das denied allegations that the death in Simdega and Dhanbad were starvation related. In fact, he said that the opposition was politicising the issue. In a counter-argument, he also pointed out that close to 99% of the ration cards have already been linked to Aadhaar card, which has saved the state a whopping Rs 225 crore. Moreover, 9 lakh new cards have been issued in place of 11 lakh, which were previously cancelled. 

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