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Hunger - an ongoing issue in India

boy.gifMany sad hunger stories are being neglected, unheard and ignored in different parts of the world. The victims suffer in silence. Our society is not poorer than it was in the past. Why is that the problems of starvation, malnutrition and other related issues are unabated?

To raise awareness and prompt action on poverty-related issues in the region, the Asian Human Rights Commission has launched a campaign of Hunger Alert. It aims to break the silence of suffering and bring the plight of these people to public concern. Hunger Alert can be reached by email at: <hungeralert@ahrchk.net>

Individuals or organisations can send untold stories and latest information concerning those people who face hunger and related problems, or the threat of starvation, together with contact details, to Hunger Alert. Upon verification, the news will be shared with a large audience throughout the world via email networking and Web sites. The approach is modelled on the AHRC's Urgent Appeals programme (www.ahrchk.net/ua), which receives information by email at <ua@ahrchk.org>.

Read more on Hunger Alerts.

Hunger Alerts

Page 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.
Page INDIA: Municipal employees starving and sick in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh
The Social Development Foundation (SDF) reports that Suddhu Rawat, aged 43, and his family are living in appalling conditions due to the nature of his employment. Mr. Rawat can no longer support his family and, his wife and eldest son (aged 18) have needed to find employment. Nonetheless, the family is struggling against hunger and malnutrition and the children don't have finances to attend school.
Page INDIA: UNICEF still avoiding responsibility in providing assistance to starving women and children in West Bengal
On April 8, 2005, two staff members from Unicef's Kolkata office met with Mr. Kirity Roy, a secretary of Masum, at Masum's office in Howrah. Mrs. Negi and Mr. Suman visited Masum and inquired about the current status of starvation among victims from Jalangi, Murshidabad (see: HA-02-2005) and Bellilious Park. At the meeting, the Unicef representatives were provided with 412 individual family complaints filed by victims from the Jalangi in Murshidabad district who lost their homes and cultivated land. The victims currently have nothing and are not under any government poverty alleviation schemes or humanitarian assistance programmes. The two representatives were also provided with a list containing the details of the victims forcibly evicted from Bellilious Park. Masum further suggested the representatives visit the Belgachia dumping ground where many of the evictees currently reside. However they indicated that they would do so at another time. An unnamed media source did report Unicef visiting with some victims at the dumpsite, though we have not received sufficient information to confirm this.
Page INDIA: Adivasi community unable to grow food, asserts their right to land in Maharashtra
The last of the huts were destroyed in January 2005 by the Maharashtra. State Farming Corporation (MSFC) employees. Since the crops and huts of the adivasis were destroyed in the previous cropping season, the adivasis had to look for their livelihoods elsewhere. The MSFC employees took advantage of this and destroyed the majority of huts while the adivasis were working outside the area. The community was unable to put up the huts again because they were busy working as cultivators in other fields. This was not the case earlier, before the corporation destroyed over 1,000 acres of their farming land. Previously the adivasis could easily provide foodstuff for their entire community with their own food stuff. During this season however, only 16 people could cultivate their land. Further, the crop supply was under frequent threats by officials, and once by police. However, the adivasis managed to protect their crop.
Page INDIA: Sugarcane cutters starving and living in abject poverty in Surat, Gujarat
Further to our Hunger Alert, HA-07-2005 issued on April 11, 2005, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) would like to provide you with the following pictures depicting the current living conditions of the adivasis living in camps under the Bardoli Sugar Factory in Surat, Gujarat.
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