Who?ll take responsibility for Shankar?s death? | india | Hindustan Times
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Who?ll take responsibility for Shankar?s death?

ANKS TO the Barabanki administration?s insensitivity, this tragedy was always on the cards. Six months ago, the administration cancelled the Antodaya cards of 16 villagers of Gangoli, Gangola and Shamsipur. It was a step that sealed the fate of Shankar, a resident of Gangoli. He died of hunger a few days ago.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2006 01:44 IST

Hunger death after card cancellation

THANKS TO the Barabanki administration’s insensitivity, this tragedy was always on the cards. Six months ago, the administration cancelled the Antodaya cards of 16 villagers of Gangoli, Gangola and Shamsipur. It was a step that sealed the fate of Shankar, a resident of Gangoli. He died of hunger a few days ago.

Since then, the administration has not done much to give relief to the victim’s family, or to the others suffering after cancellation of their cards.

Shankar’s wife Phoolmati said, “After our card was cancelled, we barely had anything to eat. My husband bought food with whatever little he earned and fed our children. Finally, when he died, the administration brought food to our home and tried to prove that my husband died of an ailment, and not hunger.  But, the entire village stood by us and took the stand that he did indeed die of hunger. The administration then announced the release of Rs 20,000 for immediate relief, but the money has not come to me so far.” Phoolmati has seven children — six daughters and a son. 

The administration announced it would pay Rs 1 lakh to Phoolmati as Kisan Bima.

Though Shankar had no land, the administration showed he had a small holding.

It is against this that the administration will pay insurance.

The administration had cancelled the cards of the poor, saying they had enough food and did not need the Antodaya facility. The villagers said the card was given to those who owned land and tractors.

Another villager Radhey Lal, whose card was cancelled, said, “I work as a daily-wage labourer. If I get some work during the day, I am paid Rs 30. I have a family to feed and this sum is not enough for me. When I had the card, I was at least sure my family would have food. But, now food is a daily worry.”

Former LU V-C Rooprekha Verma, who  visited the village after Shankar’s death, says “The people are almost dying of hunger, but the administration is not doing much about it. When we approached the administration, officials assured us that they will take the necessary steps. They even tried to prove that Shankar did not die because of hunger. This is not true.” The Barabanki DM was not available for comment.