Two more starvation deaths have occurred in Jharkhand one in Jama (Dumka district) and the other in Mahuadanr (Latehar district). In both cases, the victim was a pensioner however he did not receive any payment since January 2019. If they had received their pension on time, Motka Manjhi and Ramachandra Munda would perhaps have been alive today.
After inquiries by the welfare office of the Latehar district, it was revealed that no pensions have been sanctioned in the entire district since January 2019. The reason, behind this was that the necessary financial allotments were not made by the state government.
Reports suggest the such is the condition in otehr districts as well, if not in the entire state.
On 28 November 2001, the Supreme Court had directed the central and state governments to ensure that social security pensions are paid by the 7th day of each month. However even after 18 years, this order is not being observed in any district of Jharkhand.
What makes the discontinuation of pension payments is also shocking because Chief Minister Raghubar Das had promised to raise pension amounts from Rs 600 per month to Rs 1,000 per month around the beginning of this year. Even after six months, the increased payments of ₹1,000 per month are yet to begin. Meanwhile, pension payments have been stopped, in few district .
Over 20 starvation deaths have occurred in Jharkhand in the last two years, This has revealed failure of the BJP led-state government in providing its most marginalised section basic necessities like food
The Right to Food (RTF) Campaign has pulled up the Raghubar Das-led Jharkhand government for its “lack of seriousness to address the issue of starvation in the state”.
The Right to Food Campaign (Jharkhand) demands:
1. Immediate clearance of the backlog of pension payments, at the enhanced rate of ₹1,000 per month, throughout the state.
2. Assured pension payments by the 7th day of each month from now on, as per Supreme Court orders.
3. Compensation of ₹10 lakh each for the families of Motka Manjhi and Ramachandra Munda.