The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday sought reports from the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh over the deplorable plight of people living in drought-hit Bundelkhand region, covering the two states.

NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the condition of the inhabitants of the parched Bundelkhand region, spread over 13 districts of UP and MP, where people are living in distress.

Source: Reuters

"The media reports, carried on March 28 exposing the plight of the poor inhabitants of the Bundelkhand region, if true, raise serious issues of violation of human rights to life, equality and dignity of the people," observed the Commission and issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of both the states, calling for detailed reports within four weeks.

Reportedly, people are forced to eat chapatis either with salt or potatoes in Bundelkhand, said an NHRC statement. The crops of gram and pulses have failed due to lack of rain. As per report, "the taste of pulses is a memory for the people" in the region where most of the population belongs to the Scheduled Tribes and do not have their own land.

Source: Reuters

There are no irrigation facilities and the crops depend only on rain. Even the schools are not functional and the students are being deprived of the mid-day meal. There is no work for the villagers under MNREGA, the report noted.

In December last year, certain media reports highlighting the plight of the people of the drought-prone area said the inhabitants were forced to eat "chapatis made of grass". Last year, UP had declared 50 of its 75 districts, including all seven in Bundelkhand, as drought-affected, while MP had announced 35 of its 51 districts as water-scarce.

(Feature image source: Reuters)