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Rickshaw puller ‘starves’ to death in Jharkhand due to lack of ration card

Baidyanath Ravidas, a resident of Bhalgarha Niche Bagan under Jharia police station, did not get to eat a single morsel of meal for the past seven days.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2017 07:40 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
Dhanbad,Jharkhand,starvation
Family members of Baidyanath Ravidas following his death in Dhanbad on Saturday. The district administration has claimed that Ravidas suffered from asthma and died due to his ailment.(HT Photo/ Bijay)

A 43-year-old rickshaw puller allegedly died of starvation as the family could not get subsidised food due to lack of ration card in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad on Saturday night.

Baidyanath Ravidas, a resident of Bhalgarha Niche Bagan under Jharia police station, did not get to eat a single morsel of meal for the past seven days, his widow Parvati Devi claimed on Sunday.

The district administration, however, claimed that Ravidas suffered from asthma and died due to his ailment.

Ravidas was bedridden for over a week and starvation aggravated his condition, eventually causing death, Parvati said.

However, Dhanbad deputy commissioner A Dodde rubbished the allegations of starvation death. He said that Ravidas’s son and wife were both earning, so, death due to starvation was not possible.

“The information we have shows that the family has four earning members and none of them earns less than Rs 3000 a month,” Dodde said.

State food and public distribution director Sunil Kumar Sinha has ordered a probe into the matter.

The family did not have a ration card for the past four years and failed to get one despite several attempts.

Although Parvati works as a domestic help and her husband pulled rickshaw for a living, they were not listed in Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. For this reason, the family did not get subsidised ration under government’s welfare schemes.

Parvati said about four years ago they were listed as BPL family in a card that was issued in the name of Jago Ravidas, the elder brother of the deceased. However, they were delisted since Jago’s death.

Attempts to get a ration card later failed, she said.

“We had applied for ration card a few days ago, but are yet to get one,” Parvati said.

Meanwhile, Jharia circle officer, KD Singh handed over a cheque of Rs 20,000 to Parvati for cremation and other rituals. He assured that the family will get a ration card soon.

This is the second death allegedly due to starvation in the state within a month. Earlier on September 28, 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari allegedly died of starvation in Simdega district. The cause of her death is still under investigation.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 07:39 IST