Buxar Mother Says Her 2 Kids Died of Starvation, Minister Says 'Bizarre Logic'
As news of the twin ‘starvation’ deaths spread, the district administration rushed the Dumraon Sub Divisional Officer, the Circle Officer and a team of doctors to the village on Tuesday.
Dhana Devi and her children Aishwarya and Govinda. (File photo)
Patna: Two children from the Mahadalit community in Koransarai village under Dumraon block of Buxar in Bihar died within a week’s span. Their mother attributed the deaths to starvation as her husband and the sole breadwinner of the family has been languishing in jail for the past two months for protesting against a road accident case.
As news of the twin ‘starvation’ deaths spread, the district administration rushed Dumraon Sub Divisional Officer Harendra Ram, the Circle Officer and a team of doctors to the village on Tuesday. Harendra Ram dismissed the starvation claims and said both the children were diseased and there was proof that they had been taken to a doctor for consultation.
On the other hand, the mother, Dhana Devi told News18 that she had nothing left in her house to feed her kids, which led to the deaths of 2-year-old Govinda and 5-year-old Aishwarya.
"Govinda breathed his last on the day of Raksha Bandhan, August 26 and Aishwarya died a few days later on September 1. I kept running to the officers asking for help but no one came forward.
It was only after my children died that a local Public Distribution Shop owner came with 20 kg rice and an equal amount of wheat," she said.
"About two months ago, my husband sat on a dharna on a village road protesting against the death of a child in a road accident. The Koransarai police caught hold of my husband and put him in jail. He used to work as daily labour and our family was solely dependent on his daily wage. You can imagine what would happen to such a family if the breadwinner goes to jail," Dhana said as she broke down.
Dhana now seeks help for two other children in the area, who she claims are also showing signs of weakness. Both are below 10 years of age.
Refuting Dhana’s claims, Harendra Ram accused her of making up stories of starvation deaths. He also said that the mourning mother is being influenced by locals.
When News18 contacted state Rural Development Minister Shravan Kumar, he echoed Dumrao SDO’s words and rejected starvation leading to the deaths as a “bizarre logic”.
"If starvation was the cause, then why only two children would have died? It would have killed twenty other members of the family. But they are fine. I have talked to the block officers and they have medical reports with them," he reasoned.
The ruling JD(U) MLA from Dumraon, Dadan Pahalwan told News18 that he would visit the area on Wednesday and take stock of the situation, but also reiterated the government stand that there were enough food grains in 'Nitish Raj' to feed the poor.
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