Activists in Jharkhand have alleged that an 11-year-old local girl died of starvation because her family had not linked their ration card with Aadhaar, a Hindustan Times report says.
With no food for four consecutive days, Santoshi Kumari of Jharkhand's Simdega district died on September 28, her mother Koyli Devi told activists, the HT report said.
Shockingly, the family have been without ration since February. While they were surviving on the contribution from locals, Kumari survived on the mid-day meals she would get at her school. That 'privilege' ended for Kumari on September 20, when the school closed for Durga Puja vacations.
According to a report in the Scroll.in, Kumari didn't eat anything for nearly eight days before she died on September 28.
J'khand:11-yr-old girl allegedly died of starvation in Simdega after her family didn't receive ration undr PDS due to non-linking of Aadhaar— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2017
Jharkhand: Went to get rice but I was told that no ration will be given to me. My daughter died saying 'Bhat-bhat'-Koyli Devi, girl's mother pic.twitter.com/aRCIwcoSfL— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2017
The story of Kumari's death came to fore after it was first reported in local newspapers. Her death due to hunger was corroborated by an independent fact-finding report by members of the non-profit Right to Food Campaign and NREGA Watch. According to them, the local ration dealer had refused to give Santoshi’s family their rations for the past six months as their ration card had not been linked to their Aadhaar number, the Scroll report added.
According to Dheeraj Kumar, one of the five activists behind the investigation, Kumari's family had Aadhaar cards but due to technical glitches, the linking process couldn't be completed, the HT report said.
Activists have highlighted that denial of food on the basis of not linking Aadhar with ration card is a violation of Supreme Court's orders which have clearly mentioned that possession of an Aadhaar number cannot be made compulsory to avail of benefits under government welfare schemes.
So far no investigation has been ordered in Kumari's death.
According to a recent report on Global Hunger Index, India stood at 100 of 119 countries and has the third-highest score in all of Asia. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse.