Another case of death by starvation which came to light, a 40-year old rikshaw puller reportedly died of a severe poverty-stricken condition in Dhanbad’s Jharia distict, his family claimed.
The victim, identified as Baidnath Das, reportedly could not avail any of the government’s schemes for the poor, and hence had no ration to fend his family, which ultimately resulted in his death on Saturday.
A rickshaw puller by profession, Baidnath allegedly under went a three-year struggle in obtaining a ration card. Fed up after receiving no response, he applied online for the card. However, before he could complete all the formalities, he passed away, leaving the family behind in a poverty-stricken situation.
Ravi Kumar Das, the deceased’s son, said the family was not able to afford two square meals in a day, and was thoroughly dependant on their father for their livelihood.
“My uncle’s name was on the list of those below poverty line. However, he passed away four years ago, and ever since, we have been struggling to obtain a ration card and update the list, for which we have travelled between Dhanbad and Jharia many times. My father has been ill for twenty days now, and we don’t have enough money for his treatment. If we would have gotten the rations we’re entitled to, my father would have been alive. Now, the only bread-winner of our family has passed away,” he said.
However, an official press note from the district administration noted that the cause for death was not starvation, but a prolonged illness. The release also noted that the deceased’s son and wife were both earning members of the family, contrary to what was said by his son.
Furthermore, the release also noted that the application for the ration card was received three days ago, and the ration card would be issued usually in 60 days. It also claimed that there are four lakh card holders in the area who are being served under the various schemes of the government, and all action required is being taken within the prescribed time slots.