Despite Didi's promise, Amlasole villagers starving

Despite Didi's promise, Amlasole villagers starving

In 2004, Amlasole, a remote village in west Midnapore around 250 km from here, hit the headlines after five people died of starvation there.

After the CPM was ousted from power, West BengalChief MInister Mamata Banerjee promised the moon to the people. But the villagers of Amlasol continue to live in abject poverty, still awaiting succor from the government.

“The government promised us rice at Rs 2 per kg for each member of the family, every week, but we hardly get that. We can’t even complain because we have been threatened that the supply will stop otherwise. But the amount we get is too little for us to survive,” Sanatan Sabar, whose father starved to death in 2004, told Deccan Herald.

“I do not get rice every week. There are six members in my family and I cannot manage their daily meal as I don’t have a regular job. I can’t get a job under MGNREGS as I do not have a job card. I have requested the panchayat to give me one, but they are least bothered,” said Budhia, who lost his parents eight years ago.

“We have BPL cards, but we do not get pension. We have 1.5 bighas of land. My son works as an agricultural labourer. It is extremely difficult for my son to run the family,” Kedar Munda (86) and his wife Kamala (62) said.

The list of grievances is long, but the voice of the needy is perhaps not strong enough to reach the chief minister. Ask any government official and you get a tepid reply.

“I have to check facts about supply of rice and job cards to the people of Amlasole before commenting,” District Magistrate of West Midnapore Surendra Gupta said.

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