Activists claim that the families who’s ration cards are not linked to Aadhar cards are being refused ration at the PDS outlets of the Simdega district of Jharkhand.
The illogical move has led to the death by starvation of an eleven-year-old Santoshi Kumari.
Santoshi, who died on the 28th of September, had gone for eight days without food.
According to Scroll, the local dealer of Simdega’s Karimati village has been turning down Santoshi’s family citing the lapse of ration card as it was not linked to Aadhar card, as the reason. The family does not have an Aadhar card. Not-for-profit organizations like Right to Food Campaign and NREGA Watch have learned that the PDS outlet had eliminated the name of Kumari’s mother, Koyli Devi and 10 more families as well.
Activists later checked with the Jaldega block office and found out that the names have in fact been taken off. The activists then re-applied for a new card explaining the bizarre circumstances the local dealer had created, but to their misfortune, the card arrived two weeks post-Santoshi’s death.
The Centre had made the Aadhar card obligatory for those who wanted hassle-free access to subsidized ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Koyli Devi revealed that since schools were shut on the occasion of Durga Puja, Santoshi could not even have her mid-day meals. Kumari’s father is a lunatic, making her sister and mother the breadwinners. They earn about Rs. 80-90 by cutting grass.
Government officials argue that Santoshi died of malaria, not starvation.
The government also brought about a wacky rule of children having Aadhar card to have access to mid-day meals in the schools.
According to Hindustan Times, only 42% children in the state had a legit Aadhar card by August. It further reported that 37 lakh students in 49,000 government schools in the state ran the risk of being denied mid-day meals if they did not get enrolled under the Aadhaar scheme within the stipulated deadline.
Information source: huffingtonpost
Title image source: hindustantimes