Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

11-Year Old Dies Of Hunger Because Her Family's Aadhaar Wasn't Linked

11-Year Old Dies Of Hunger Because Her Family's Aadhaar Wasn't Linked

Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das sought a detailed inquiry report from Simdega deputy commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri on Tuesday in the alleged starvation death of 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari in the district on September 28.

On the day of her death, Koyla Devi says Kumari asked for rice before she lost consciousness.

Under National Food Security Act, people those who are below the poverty line are entitled to gain subsidised grains.

State Food and Civil Supplies minister Saryu Rai told News18 there were clear instructions that no one should be denied ration for not linking PDS card with Aadhaar. This was done on a basis of a state government letter that gave them a three-week deadline in March to link the ration card with the Aadhaar card. She expressed her pain and said that her daughter died saying "Bhat-bhat". According to the fact-finding team, the block development officer in Simdega's Jaldega block confirmed that Kumari's family's ration card was deleted because it was not linked to the Aadhaar.

The victim's mother Koyali Devi said: "The PDS shop struck out names from the ration list. I saw that the family neither had food nor a place to live", said Tara Mani Sah, an activist who visited the Karamati village after Santoshi's death. "Those who do not have the Aadhaar card, they will be given food supplies after identification".

Launched in 2009, the Aadhaar programme aimed to provide identity cards to millions of poor people and enable them to access benefits directly without intermediaries taking an unlawful cut. Between August and October 2016, Jharkhand moved towards adopting a "paperless" public distribution system, linked to individual Aadhaar numbers.

"The autopsy (done on the girl) also shows she died of starvation".

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