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I

 

Name of the Case Study- Starvation death.                  

Name of the victim- Tetri Devi w/o Sudi Bhuiyan.

Village- Ulgara

Village profile

Ulgara is a village under Mangalpur Panchayat of Panki Block. Panki block comes under Palamau district of Jharkhand State. Ulgara village is 8 Km from the Panki Block office. Panki Block is 45 Km from the Palamau head quarter ie district town- Daltonganj. Daltonganj Town is 165 km from the State Capital Ranchi.

 

Mangalpur Panchayat is situated in Panki Balumath Road. Ulgara village is situated North of the Panchayat village. Ulgara village is divided in two tolas , Harizan and Bornahi tola. Ulgara village is spread up to 3 km. Village is surrounded by the Mountain and forest. Bornahee and Harizan tola are separated by 2 km. Barnahee is situated in the bank of the Amanat river. Mountain and Forest area is in between the Harizan and Bornahee tola.

 

Geographically Ulgara village is undulated and 80% of the land are coming under the category of Tanr land, this category of land is fit for only Bhadai crop ie Maize and Arhar and rest 20% is Dohar land fit for Paddy and Wheat cultivation but the 20% of the land are under the holding of the Pandey family. Pandey families are strong in controlling the village. They having the land holding in cultivable category of land. All the Bhuiyans are as agricultural Labour in the farm land of Pandey families.

 

Basically there are Four castes in the Ulgara village that are Bhuimiyar, Bhuinyan, Oraon, Lohra. Oraons are in Barnahee tola and Harizan(Bhuiyan) and Bhumiyar (by title Pandey) are in Harizan tola. Harizan tola having the 47 household among the total household 7 household are belonging to the Bhumiyar(by title- Pandey ) 40 household are belonging to the Bhuiyan community. Barnahee tola having the total household of 40 and majority of the household are from Oraon Community.

 

Total no of BPL (Below Poverty line ) family in the village are 64. Among the total BPL families 27 are belonging from the Oraon Community, 26 families belonging to the Bhuiyan community and 11 families belonging to the Lohara community. All the BPL families are landless families as per the BPL book of Government. Bhuiyan, Oraon and Lohara families are doing the labour work as Livelihood source. Migration is also the part of their supplementary livelihood.

 

Profile of Starvation victim Family

Tetri Devi age 35 years residence of Harizan Tola of Ulgara village. Sudi Bhuiyan is his husband. Family is belonging to the Schedule Caste. She died on 7th of September 2004 day Tuesday at 5.00 p.m evening in the house. Benni Bhuiyan is the father of Sudi Bhuiyan (Tetri was daughter in law of Benni Bhuiyan). Benni Bhuiyan has four son, among them sudi Bhuiyan is one of the son. Benni Bhuiyan is enrolled under BPL families. 753 is the BPL number of the Benni. Benni and his wife are live but they are too old to do anything as physical work for livelihood.

 

Tetri has five children, three daughter and 2 son (Sunita-10 years, Chinta-8 years, Ranju-6 years, Dhanajay-4 years and four month son). Sudi Bhuiyan husband of Tetri Devi(died due to startvation) has small house of two rooms. In one room family use to sleep and also cooking their meal and second room that is used as “Dhaba”. House is made of Earth and Tiles(structure of house was made jointly with his other brother) Sudi got in his share only two room. He has small courtyard. 

 

Sudi Bhuiyan in the year 1997 got land from Government department against the settlement of Gair Majero Land. Total Rakba-60 decmil, Khata no-55, Plot no-359. Land is situated in the “Tongri” (land in the hill, stone, small chips and soil are mixed) in local terminology it can be called as “Pathrealli soil” or as rocky soil. Soil is not fit for cultivation. It was not demarcated for cultivation. Land was not leveled for cultivation. After the land distribution by the Government he has not taken any crop as

agricultural output from the land. Government after the distribution of land given Rs.500/- to each individual for land leveling but Sudi and his brother unable to get as because at that period they were out of station for migration and after then they approached to the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Panki, they chased BDO for one month but they didn’t got the amount for land leveling. Sudi has got the small patch of land from his father’s share for cultivation it just adjacent to the house but it also tanr land and this year during the month of June they cultivated maize crop but it was not sufficient to feed the family for survival.

 

Sudi Bhuiyan is a migrant labour and after the adulthood he used to migrate for work. He used to go Punjab State in search of job. In Punjab he was working as daily wage labour in the Farm Land Of “Sardar”. His brother also migrate with him for work. Tetri in association with other women in the village also use to collect the fuel wood from the forest and then sell in the local market (Panki Bazar) for survival.

 

Sudi Bhuiyan is not the beneficiary of Antodaya Food Grain Scheme of Government, his father Benni Bhuiyan is an old man also not benefiting the Old age Pension Scheme of the Government scheme. Family is not enrolled under the Annapurna grain Scheme. Tetri Devi was the lactating mother but she was not getting the facility from the “Integrated Child Development Scheme” (ICDS) for additional nutritional food.

Public Distribution Shop under the Government food grain Scheme is also not stationed in the village for benefit. Employment generation activity under the “Sampoorn Gramin Rojgar Yojana” (SGRY) is also not generated employment in the village for meeting the food in the village.

 

 

Benni Bhuiyan father of Sudi Bhuiyan had taken the loan 11 years before from money lender Ajay Pandey of same village. Amount of the loan was Rs.1100/- . Amount was taken for the marriage ceremony of the Benni Bhuiyan’s son. Amount was taken at the rate of 10% every month ie 120% yearly. Till date the son of Benni Bhuiyan  had paid the amount of Rs.5000/- to the widow of Ajay Pandey and also has to pay Rs.4000/- in future. Family is also loanee and overburdened to pay the loan to private money lender.

 

Three month before ie month after the birth of the fifth chidren Sudi went to the Punjab for work and there he was working under the “Sardar” as daily wage worker. He was in contact with the family on telephone. Tetri when she used to go the Panki Market from there she used to talk with her husband on telephone. Ten days before the death day she passed the message of fever of elder daughter to the husband at Punjab. Three days before of death day she passed the message of no money in the house for fooding. Her Husband(Sudi) replied that collect Rs.100/- from neighbour and I will send the money from the Punjab. That was the last conversation between Tetri and Sudi Bhuiyan.

 

Seven days before of the death day she (Tetri) relieved from the Malaria and she was weak to work. There was no male member in the house to support her for gathering the food against the work. Several night after the disease and before the death she didn’t get the proper food and obviously she lost the kilo calorie energy for survival. Suresh Bhuiyan brother of Sudi Bhuiyan  and   “Bhasoor” in  relation to the Tetri Devi collected the fuel wood from

 

the forest and collected Rs.25/- from the local market (Panki Bazar) and since last three days before the death he contributed the rice  to the Tetri but it was also very less in amount. Suresh Bhuiyan he has also 7 member in the house and living separately.

 

After the long day of survival without adequate food and she was the lactating mother for fifth children and 7 days before she relived from the malaria disease, she lost her life on 7th of September 2004 at 5.00 p.m evening in the Ulgara village and on 8th September 2004 her body has been burned in burning ghat. She couldn’t be able to express last word to her husband Sudi Bhuiyan (migrated to Punjab for work). All the Children in the house cried for the moment for missing the mother for ever. Tetri left all the five children and her husband for struggle of survival. Four month “Sanjit” fifth children of Tetri also watching everything with his eye and crying no body can understand what he is saying but really challenge for the family. 

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II

 

Name of the Case Study- Starvation death.

Name of the victim- Neelam Kumari daughter of Sudama Bhuiyan

Village- Gopalganj

Village profile

Lesliganj Block is 18 Km from Palamau headquarter ie Daltonganj. Lesliganj block having 118 revenue villages. Gopalgunj is a Panchayat village and 3 km from the Block development office and 2 km from the Primary Health Centre Lesliganj. Gopalgunj village is 1.5 km from the Lesliganj market. Gopalgunj village is south to the Block office and in between the Lesliganj Lahlahe road. Village is 8 km from the Ranchi Daltonganj road.

 

Gopalganj village is heterogeneous society. Eight castes are in the village. There are 159 household in the village. Sixty household are belonging to the Bhuiyan community. 35 families are belonging to the Baniya Community (Sahu) . 30 houses are muslims, 9 houses are belonging to chamar. Three families are Lohara. Two family belonging to Brahmin. These are the major caste living the Gopalganj village. 50% of the population are Harizan.

 

Village is on the Pitch road and inside the village roads are not pitched ie Kachha road. Kathunda village is in the East of the Gopalganj, Purnadih is the west to the village, Pathrahee is North to the village and Maila river is in south of the village.

 

50% of the land are paddy land and rest 25% are tanr and bari land for the maize and arhar. 95% of the Harizans are landless. Only they have the land for the house and bari. Village having 200-250 acres of land for cultivation. Most of the land belonging to the Sahu family and they are also involve in the business. Villagers having their land also in the Kanuada and Tangri village. There is no forest area in the village.

 

Gopalganj has one Anganbari centre(ICDS centre) it is run by Ranju Devi , it doesn’t function in proper way. Ranju used to sell Murhi (commodities under ICDS to serve the beneficiary) at the rate Rs.20/- per Kg in open market. Village having 6 Handpump for drinking water facility. Rajendra Saw is the PDS (Public Distribution Shop) dealer for the village. Village having one Primary School run by the Government and also mid day meal programme is implemented in the village. There are five teachers in the Primary School. 10% of the Harizan children are going to the School and taking the benefit but rest of the children from the Harizan is not going to the School. Harizan children are engaged in the work like rearing of cattle and household work.

 

95% of the Harizan families are landless. 90% of the Harizan families are migrating to outside. Three persons from the village are doing the work of Rickshaw pulling in the Lesliganj market. Harizan families are migrating two times in a year. During the month of March to May they use to migrate for brick kiln and during November to January these families are migrating to Dehri Anson, Sasaram, Banaras for harvesting of the Paddy and Wheat. Harizan families they are also collecting the grains from migrating place. Rest of the Harizan families those are not able to migrate outside  the village are used to engage in the village farm land as “Harwaha” during the process they plough the paddy land and cutting of the grass from the paddy land.

 

Village is also the center of wine processing. All the Muslims family are engaged in the wine making and all the Bhuiyan are the customer of the wine shop. Alcoholism is also the problem of the village and all the downtrodden population are victimized by the alcohol business. 

 

Profile of Starvation victim Family

Neelam Kumari  age 14 years daughter of Sudama Bhuiyan  died on 5th of September 2004 at 4.00 p.m. at Gopalganj village. Sudama Bhuiyan is a landless farmer. He has only bari land for cultivation. Neelam Kumari is the elder children of the family.  By Caste Sudama is belonging to the Schedule caste family.

 

Sudama Bhuiyan enrolled under the Below Poverty line(BPL) familiy. He has got the Antodaya card from the Government Food Grain Scheme. Under the provision of Antodaya card beneficiary is getting the 35 kg of grains from the PDS shop every month. Sudama has also got the Indira Awas under the Government housing scheme.

 

Sudama Bhuiyan used to migrate every year to Brick kiln and the Sone district of Bihar for harvesting of the Paddy and Wheat crop. He is land less farmer therefore his survival sustains only on daily wage earning in the farm land of the land holders in the village. This year due to less rainfall Sudama didn’t get the job opportunity in the village and just only he use to collect the grass from the farm land and then sell in the Lesliganj market and then collect the cash money from the market.

 

Government employment generation programme is also not sufficient for the area. Year 2002 was announcwd as Sukha rea and Government announced Tank relief programme in the village with the estimate of Rs.70,000/- but work was satisfactory and it couldn’t fulfilled the objective of the programme. Last year 2003 area was also being announced as Sukhar Area and Government promoted the Earth work and at the same time all the contractors and Government official collected the good amount from the work as illegal mean. And ultimately very few days labour human days created in the village. In such situation Landless families are not able to depend upon the Government employment generation work.

 

Neelam was ill since month and her treatment was going on with the help of village quack doctor Mr. Omprakash Viswakarma. Government Primary Health Center is  weak in infrastructure and the staff of the Hospital are also not competent to handle the situation because poor monitoring style by the Government machinery.

 

Neelam was the elder daughter of the Sudama and in absence of father and mother she cares the younger brother and sister. After relieving from the disease she was not able to get the proper as to regain the energy for survival. She keeps less food for own share and rest of the food she provided to the younger brother and sister. She doesn’t go to the school for education and also denied by the mid day meal programme. She is also denied by the services of the “Integrated Child Development Programme”(ICDS) under the scheme adolescent girls are getting the services from the ICDS regarding the reproductive child health care. But due to lack of services of ICDS she denied the services in the village.

 

On 5th September 2004 she died and after the death news all the villagers accumulated there and villagers shew their interest for the post mortem. Dead body of Neelam has been taken to the Daltonganj by the Social worker and local political person. Dead Body arrived at Evening but Sadar Hospital denied for post mortem at the same date. After the pressure from the Local leaders Doctor agreed upon for post mortem and next date on 6th of September post mortem done by the Government doctor. In between the process the Government personnel pressurize the  Sudama Bhuiyan and dispersed the mass who are accumulated and waiting for the postmortem report.

 

Local  Newspaper  Prabhat Khabar   Published           the News “ Adolescent died due to Starvation in Lesliganj” and written that no grains in the stomach of the Neelam in postmortem report but another local   newspaper   Hindustan  Published that “ Maize grain found in the Stomach of the Neelam”.

 

It is fact that the area is facing the low weight and under nutrition cases and also no medical services in the area. Social security Scheme which are being treated as safety net is failure in the area and ultimately long day of hunger and under nutrition status

 

through the Neelam in the mouth of Death. Employment generation programme in the village are also found to be failure. It is also fact that the Government official those are in the process to implement the Schemes are taking bribe from the contractors and contractors are also paying less to workers and it lessens the number of human days.

 

 

Reported by

Ashim Kumar Ghosh

Email-ashim57@rediffmail.com

 

 

ashim57@rediffmail.com