• 11 year old Dies of Starvation in Jharkhand

    Silence

    Shah Alam Khan

    October 18, 2017

     

    11 year old Santoshi Kumari in Jharkhand’s Simdega district died of starvation after her family’s ration card was allegedly cancelled for not being linked to their Aadhaar number. Before her death, she kept asking for rice (bhaat) from her mother.

    Knock, Knock
    “Who‘s there?”

    “Hunger”
    “Hunger who?”

    “Santoshi hai?
    “You alone?”

    “Na, na, Aadhar is with me”
    “Aadhar beta you only explain to him. He’s after Santoshi.”

    Open the door or I’ll break it!”
    “But Santoshi is not at home. She’s gone to school”

    There is a burst of laughter, “O ho! Beti parhao, beti bachao, haan?”
    “You go away from here. You are mean just like the ration shop owner. Help me Aadhar beta, help me!”

    No more knocks. The darkness falls quite.
    And then a feeble voice from inside the shanty, “bhaat, bhaat, bhaat.” Silence.


     

    Professor Shah Alam Khan is a faculty at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

    First published in The Citizen.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.

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