Ranchi: An 11-year old girl died of hunger in Simdega district of Jharkhand because her family was denied monthly share of their ration under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) after they failed to link their ration card with Aadhaar.
According to Right to Food activists, the girl Santoshi Kumari from Karimati village of Jaldega block died on September 28 after her family failed to feed her continuously for 8 days due to lack of ration at home.
Santoshi’s mother Koili Devi told the activists, as reported by HT, that they were not getting the ration since February after they failed to link their Aadhaar. Koili Devi said that Santoshi died after complaining of severe stomachache and cramps on September 27.
With no land, jobs or a regular income, the family is eligible for subsidised rations under the National Food Security Act.
However the local ration dealer refused to give Santoshi’s family their rations for the past six months on the grounds that their ration card had not been linked – or “seeded”, as its known in official language – to their Aadhaar number", according to Right to Food Campaign and NREGA Watch.
The activists said that this was in clear violation of Supreme Court orders issued several times since 2013, ruling that possession of an Aadhaar number cannot be made compulsory to avail of benefits under government welfare schemes, particularly to buy subsidised food grains.
Jaldega block development officer Sanjay Kumar Kongari however said that the girl due to Malaria, not because of starvation.