Paralyzed Indian Man Dies of Hunger After Selling Food Rations for Medicine
AP Photo/ Mahesh Kumar AAsia & Pacific20:39 08.01.2018(updated 20:42 08.01.2018) Get short URL111
In yet another horrific tale of poverty, a paralyzed 42-year-old man in India died of starvation as his mother, who was too old and weak to go out and beg for alms, watched helplessly.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — Killo Devi, 82, who lived with her son Nem Chand in a village in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, told the local media that she and her paralyzed son had not had food for the last three to four days as they had to sell off the subsidized grain they had received from the ration shop in order to buy medicine.
“I sold the grain and kerosene we received from the ration depot 10 days ago to buy medicine for my ailing son, we didn’t have any support from local people or charity,” Khillo Devi told a local newspaper.
The starvation death of 42-year-old Nem Chand comes barely a few days after a statewide directive by the Uttar Pradesh provincial government that any human death due to starvation will result in strict action against the officers responsible, including the village headman.
The local revenue officer reportedly told the police during the preliminary inquiry that Chand, 42, who had earlier worked as a barber, had been bedridden for the last two years and could not fend for himself and his old mother.
Social activists have condemned the incident, describing it as a reflection of the government’s insensitivity towards the plight of the poor. In November last year, a woman starved to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehganj, after she went many days without food.
“This is the not the first incident, there have been many such cases of starvation in Jharkhand and some other states. The government has set its priorities wrong and social security does not interest the government in India anymore. The recent addition of Aadhar (a unique identification number allotted to Indian citizens) and its mandatory tagging for every purchase in the Public Distribution System has only added to the complexity of the issue,” Annie Raja, head of the National Federation of Indian Women, told Sputnik.