Andher Nagari : Starvation death

    She fought with her younger brother over a small bowl of rice.
   The brother managed to snatch away the rice and the distraught sister – unable to bear the pangs of hunger committed suicide.

   When the family returned from work on Friday night, they found the 18-year-old Gyanwati’s body hanging from the roof.

An empty bowl of rice lay nearby and the son, Chhatrapal, 12, sat close by, filled with remorse and guilt. “I killed her.

   If I had given her the rice, she would not have died,” he muttered as the neighbours gathered around the house. This tragic incident took place on Friday night in Detikar village in Gosainganj area on the outskirts of Lucknow.

   “I had sold all my land to marry off my two elder daughters and I worked in the fields along with my wife Bhagwandei to earn a living but we could never manage a square meal for ourselves and my daughter and son. My daughter Gyanwati used to help me in my work sometimes. On Friday, we had no food in the house except a small bowl of rice. My wife and I left for work without eating and it seems that my daughter and son fought over the bowl of rice. My son ate the rice and left to play with his friends while Gyanwati committed suicide,” Ram Bharose, the head of the family told this correspondent on Saturday.

   According to sources, the local shopkeepers had stopped giving food and other provisions to the family on credit since they had been unable to repay the earlier debt. “But had I known that things would go this way, I would have definitely given some food to the children,” said Prem Tiwari, who runs a tea stall nearby.

   His wife Bhagwandei is still too shocked to react while the youngest son Chhatrapal is overcome with guilt.

The father looked sombre as he said, “Accha hua chali gayi.

   Ek moonh to kam hua (It is good she died. There is one mouth less to feed).” It is then that the reality of this household hits you in the face.

Excerpts from Asian Age 30 Sept 07

Depriving Children of Mid Day Meals

Depriving Poor Children of Mid Day Meals 

     THE MID-DAY meal scheme, which provides much-needed nutrition to lakhs of children all over the country, faces an acute crisis.  12 crore children in 9.5 lakh schools have mid-day meals.  

     The Department of Food and Public Distribution, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, has told the HRD ministry that from now on wheat and rice for the scheme will cost almost double.   Also, it would not be possible to provide food grains for any future expansion of the scheme, the ministry was told.              

Only last Thursday the Cabinet approved the proposal to expand the mid-day meal scheme to the upper primary level in schools.

      The HRD ministry will now have to buy grains at what is called the ‘economic rate’ which is about Rs 12,000 per metric tonne, compared to Rs 5,650 per metric tonne. 

     PS: Children will be penalised for Bad Governance.

Do You know that

: In the last three years, Rs 31,585.98 crore worth of wheat and rice meant for the poorest of the poor was siphoned off from the public distribution system. Last year alone, Rs 11,336.98 crore worth of food grain that the government is supposed to distribute to the needy at subsidised prices found its way into the market illegally.

Stealing Food from the Poor

 Every year, India’s poor are cheated out of 53.3% of wheat and 39% of rice meant for them. The biggest diversion takes place in the case of wheat — the grain that the UPA government has controversially spent thousands of crores purchasing at steep prices from the international market in a bid to maintain buffer stocks. And it disappears most from states where the staple diet is rice. 

     While the Food Corporation of India can be credited with at least trying to straighten its vigilance wing and punishing several officials for the loss and diversion, the same cannot be said of the states. Many states do not even have a vigilance set-up to catch the culprits.

     Vigilance committees have not been constituted in Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Tripura, Uttarakhand, UP, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Daman & Diu. 

     New Delhi: In the last three years, Rs 31,585.98 crore worth of wheat and rice meant for the poorest of the poor was siphoned off from the public distribution system. Last year alone, Rs 11,336.98 crore worth of food grain that the government is supposed to distribute to the needy at subsidised prices found its way into the market illegally.   

     Every year, India’s poor are cheated out of 53.3% of wheat and 39% of rice meant for them. With the exception of 11 states and Union Territories, there is large-scale diversion of PDS grain across India. And, these 11 states and UTs seem to be faring better only because the others are so far ahead in the dirty business.    In the case of wheat, except for 12 states, there’s massive pilferage of the grain all over the country. The situation is a tad better for rice, with 16 states having little or no diversion.

     Exceptions apart, the poor in India simply can’t trust the government to deliver them food supplies. The malaise cuts across party lines and categories like progressive, rich states and the poor less developed ones.   

     The North-East is in a class of its own. Of the eight states here, not a single grain of wheat supplied to six — Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Assam — reaches the targeted poor. Arunachal Pradesh can claim to be a little less corrupt as 96.2% of its PDS wheat gets diverted. Manipur takes the cake as 97.7% of its rice allocation is also siphoned off with Nagaland following close behind at 88.6% of rice being diverted.    If political and policing troubles in the North-East can be blamed for such daylight robbery, other states have no alibi.

     In terms of loss to the exchequer, Uttar Pradesh fares the worst, followed by Left-ruled West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

   In 2006-07, Rs 3,289.71 crore worth of rice and wheat was stolen in UP. The corresponding figure in West Bengal was Rs 1,913.76 crore and in MP, Rs 1,038.69 crore. While the percentage of diversion may be lower than the North-East, the sheer volume of rice and wheat distributed in these states helps black-marketeers make a killing.

TOI reoprt

Drive against Drunken Driving

     This viewpoint may be unpopular with many, but we believe it is in public interest and can help save lives. Delhi Police should take lessons from their Mumbai counterparts on dealing with drunken driving.

      The Mumbai constabulary has been given breathalysers and, more importantly, empowered to put people behind bars if caught driving while under the influence.

     This works better than fines. A large proportion of tipsy drivers can afford to pay a fine but would be seriously deterred by the thought of a night in lockup or a week in jail.

     The data in Mumbai shows that the number of accidents per month has dropped to single digits for the first time in four years this August.

The above is reproduced from TOI of 16 Aug 07




16 cops get life term for killing youth in fake encounter

Kanpur: In a landmark judgment, a special court on Tuesday sentenced 16 policemen, including an SHO to life imprisonment, for killing a physically challenged youth in a fake encounter 15 years ago. Raj Narain, a resident of Dadra village in Etawah, was shot dead during a combing operation in the ravines of Chambal in 1992.
Special judge R P Sharma also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on seven constables and Rs 1,000 on nine others. All the accused were found guilty by the judge.
The cops had then claimed that Narain was an active member of a leading gang in the ravines. To save themselves, the cops even threw his body into a Chambal.
Those found guilty by the court were SHO Girwar Singh, sub-inspectors J N Singh and Saligram Yadav, constables Brijesh Kumar, Santosh Kumar, Ram Prasad, Paden Bihar Rai, Brij Raj Singh, Jayant Rakesh, Jitendra Kumar, Diwan Singh, Ram Khiladi, Ashok, B Singh and Suryadeo Singh. They were posted at Chakarnagar police station in Etawah when the encounter was reported on January 28, 1992.
The repeated attempts of Raj Narain’s family to get a case registered at the Chakarnagar police station against the cops had turned futile. They later met senior police officers who handed over the case to CID on February 26, 1992. During the investigation, CID sleuths found the cops guilty of killing Raj Narain and framed charges against them.
A case was then registered against the cops on December 10, 1993. On September 5, 2007 the court pronounced his judgment holding all the cops guilty of killing the innocent man.

Faiz Rahman Siddiqui | TNN


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   A Road Safety Program for under privilaged children was organised in  Sector A Pkt C, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on 25 Aug 07.

    CAPRG and Srijan Foundation had arranged the program with the co operation of the Road Safety Cell of Delhi Traffic Police.

   RWA of Sector A Pkt C had provided the Community Center and the grounds.

    Children were shown documentries and  various aspects  of  road saftey were explained by a team from Delhi Trafic Police who had brought their Mobile Exhibition Van.

Inspector Radhey Shyam who took the  the class was a great hit with  the children.

Over 60 children from the villages of Kishan Garh and Mehrauli were present.

Srijan Foundation has borne the expenses connected with the program.