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11-year-old Girl Dies in Jharkhand After Being Denied Ration Over Aadhaar Linking

Santoshi Kumari breathed her last on September 28 but the incident went largely unreported until an NGO raised the issue.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:October 17, 2017, 3:13 PM IST
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11-year-old Girl Dies in Jharkhand After Being Denied Ration Over Aadhaar Linking
11-year-old Santoshi Kumar, who died of starvation in Jharkhand’s Simdega. (TV Grab)
Ranchi: An 11-year-old girl died of starvation in Jharkhand’s Simdega after the local PDS (Public Distribution System) shop refused to provide her family with any food as their ration card was not linked to the Aadhaar number.

Santoshi Kumari breathed her last on September 28 but the incident went largely unreported until an NGO raised the issue.

Kumari’s family lives in abject poverty and was fully dependent on food grains entitled under the National Food Security Act. Her father is mentally disabled and her sister and mother, who are daily wage workers, earn about Rs 80-90 a day.

Talking to News18, Santoshi’s mother Koyali Devi said, “The PDS shop struck out names from the ration list. They were asking for our Aadhaar number, which we did not have.”

Santoshi was studying at a local school, where she used to get cooked lunch under the mid-day meal scheme but due to Durga Puja the school was closed.

The NGO, which raised the issue, said that the child spent eight days without eating anything before her death.

Some locals contacted the Jaldega block officer for the family’s ration card to be renewed and it did reach them — but only by October 1.

State Food and Civil Supplies minister Saryu Rai told News18 there were clear instructions that no one should be denied ration for not linking PDS card with Aadhaar.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Raghubar Das expressed his grief over the incident and vowed to not spare anyone found responsible. He also directed the Deputy Commissioner to meet the victim’s family and submit a report within 24 hours.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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