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INDIA: Man dies of adverse medicine reaction due to lack of food in Kushinagar

Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, age 40, died on March 11, 2005 due to complications from taking medicine on an empty stomach. Tilangi, a landless daily wage labourer employed by a brick kiln in Kushinagar, earned approximately Rs. 40/- per day with the help of family members. He was married and had three sons and two daughters, all under the age of 15. The family lives in a small hut and is illiterate, as was Tilangi.

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ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

28 April 2005

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HA-10-2005: INDIA: Man dies of adverse medicine reaction due to lack of food in Kushinagar

INDIA: Hunger and malnutrition; government neglect
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received new information concerning a man who died from an adverse reaction due to taking medicine on an empty stomach. Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, working in Kushinagar district as a daily brick kiln worker, died on March 11, 2005. He had not eaten any food on the day and he and his family were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. He leaves behind a wife and several children who are on the verge of starvation.

The AHRC urges you to write to the Chief Minister and other related officials informing them of the current hardships and hunger that many brick kiln workers such as Tilangi face. Further, please request that compensation and assistance be provided for Tilangi's remaining family members so they do not succumb to the same tragic fate.

Urgent Appeals Desk--Hunger Alert
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
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DETAILED INFORMATION:

Location: village of Tola Sherpur Badhara, Koilasava, Fazilnagar block, district of Kushinagar
Persons affected: Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, age 40, son of the late Bhuavar
Cause of death: hunger and starvation, adverse reaction to medicine taken on an empty stomach
Date of death: March 11, 2005

Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, age 40, died on March 11, 2005 due to complications from taking medicine on an empty stomach. Tilangi, a landless daily wage labourer employed by a brick kiln in Kushinagar, earned approximately Rs. 40/- per day with the help of family members. He was married and had three sons and two daughters, all under the age of 15. The family lives in a small hut and is illiterate, as was Tilangi.

Tilangi and his family live in a desperate situation and due the nature of daily wage work, cannot rely on a permanent source of income to provide for their daily needs. Most of the family members work in a brick kiln and as a result live in utter exploitation and hardship. They do not have social security, job security or physical security for the women. Often, many family members and other employed in the brick kiln go to work without eating. Many times they cannot afford to eat for a lengthy period of time.

On the morning of March 11, 2005, Tilangi felt severe pain in his stomach. He could not take leave so on his way to work, he stopped by a local chemist shop and received a tablet to relieve the pain. Tilangi swallowed the tablet and went to work. Little did anyone know that like most days, Tilangi had not eaten, and he died shortly after arriving at his workplace. The local hospital is not nearby so efforts to support and revive Tilangi until he could get medical attention was futile.

Tilangi leaves his wife and five children behind who will now have to find means to support themselves. It is customary that Rs. 10,000/- be paid as compensation to a family who has lost the head of a family due to an untimely death. Thus far, no compensation has been received by Tilangi's family. The family continues to live in abject poverty and in a near hunger situation.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and other related local authorities urging them to provide the appropriate compensation and assistance to the family of Mr. Tilangi Mushhar. A sample letter follows.

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SAMPLE LETTER
Dear Mr. ___________

Re: Man dies of adverse medicine reaction due to lack of food in Kushinagar
Location: village of Tola Sherpur Badhara, Koilasava, Fazilnagar block, district of Kushinagar
Persons affected: Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, age 40, son of the late Bhuavar
Cause of death: hunger and starvation, adverse reaction to medicine taken on an empty stomach
Date of death: March 11, 2005

I am saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mr. Tilangi Mushhar, a 40 year-old father of five employed as a daily wage labourer in the brick kilns of Kushinagar. His family, as was Tilangi, is illiterate and living with hunger and in extreme poverty. Together, the family would earn at most Rs. 40/- per day but will now suffer a sharp decrease given that the family head has died.

Like many other employees of brick kilns throughout the Koilasava, Tilangi often went hungry during the work day. On the morning of March 11, Tilangi was suffering from severe stomach pains. On his way to work, he stopped by the local chemist's store and received a tablet to alleviate the pain. He resumed his journey and died shortly after arriving work. No one, including the chemist, realized that ingesting the medicine on an empty stomach would cause death.

Tilangi leaves behind a wife, three sons and two daughters all below the age of 15. They are currently living in a small hut with little food and means to sustain their livelihoods. Further, the Rs. 10,000/- compensation customarily given to family who have lost their head of household from an untimely death has not been received by his family. Thus, Tilangi's wife and children are under nourished and live in hunger.

I request that you investigate this matter immediately and provide assistance to Mr. Tilangi Mushhar's family so they no longer live in hunger and the children be allowed to attend school. Further, I ask that the compensation due to the family be paid.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister's Secretariat
Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: + 91 522 223 0002/223 9234
Email: cmup@up.nic.in

2. Mr. Jaggannath Singh
District Magistrate
Collectorate, Kushinagar
INDIA
Tel: +91 556 424 2392/2592
Fax: +91 556 424 2010

PLEASE SEND COPIES TO:

1. Justice A. S. Anand
National Human Rights Commission of India
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi 110001
India
Tel: +91-11 23382742
Fax: +91-11 23384863
Email: mailto:covdnhrc@nic.in, mailto:ionhrc@nic.in

2. Justice A P Mishra
Chairperson
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission
1/183, Vineet Khand, Gomti Nagar,
Lucknow - 226010
Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
Tel: + 91 522-2726764
Fax: + 91 522-2726743
Email: uphrc@sancharnet.in

3. Mr. Jean Ziegler
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
c/o Mr. Carlos Villan Duran
Room 4-066?
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Palais Wilson,
Rue des Paquis 52, Geneva
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9010
Email: sect.hchr@unog.ch

4. Mr. Arjun K Sengupta
UN Special Rapporteur Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty
c/o Mr Renaud Detalle
Room 4-040, OHCHR-UNOG
Palais Wilson, Rue des Paquis 52
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Tel: +41-22-917 9831
Fax: +41-22-917 9010

5. Mr. Pedro Medrano Rojas
Country Director
World Food Programme
2 Poorvi Marg,
Vasant Vihar,
New Delhi 110057
INDIA
Tel: +91-11-26150000
Fax: +91-11-26150019
Email: wfp.newdelhi@wfp.org

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme -- Hunger Alert
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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