We don’t even think twice before dumping the extra food on our plate into the trash can.

But did you know that there’s a community in India that survives on rats because they have nothing better to eat?


Musahar is a community of about 2.5 million people spread across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Tripura and Assam.

While their major occupation is agricultural labourers, they don’t make enough money to arrange two square meals a day. 


They catch rats by digging into their hole, killing them and tearing the body apart with bare hands before cooking them slowly on fire. Since they’ve been eating rats for generations, they have developed a taste for it and despite multiple bad affects of the rodent on health, they continue to do so even today.

As a result, a majority of Musahars suffer from malnutrition along with diseases like malaria and kala-azar, the most severe form of leishmaniasis.


Sudha Varghese, who has worked extensively with the Musahars community in Bihar, told AFP:

“They are the poorest amongst the poorest and rarely hear about or get access to government schemes. It’s a daily struggle for the next meal and diseases like leprosy are an everyday reality.” 


28-year-old Rakesh Manjhi, who belongs to the Musahar community, describes his life as:

We sit at home all day with nothing to do. Some days we get work at the farm, on other days we go hungry or catch rats and eat it with whatever little grain we can get.

With a low rate of literacy and ignorance from the government, Musahar is one of the most marginalised communities in India.

And here we are complaining about our lives?