GOKARNA (UTTARA KANNADA):It has been three months since Nagamma Mukri lost her three sons within a span of 15 days due to alleged starvation. Now the family is getting ration as its head has got an Aadhaar card.In July, three sons of Nagamma Mukri died at Belehittala area of Gokarna of Uttara Kannada district.They had BPL card but were denied ration citing that the card was not linked to Aadhaar. But no member of the family had an Aadhaar number.
Nagamma and her four sons were living in a small hut built on a private land at Belehittala area.
Three of them were addicted to alcohol and another one was suffering from an illness. It is said that Nagamma Mukri, the head of the family, did not have Aadhaar. Her sons applied for Aadhaar, but they failed to get the cards.Following the strict rules of the Central government, the family was not given ration for over three months.
In July, three siblings died within a span of 15 days.
According to villagers, Nagamma’s sons used to work and they were earning some money which they would spend on alcohol.They were not buying any food items and were dependent on the government ration. An aged Nagamma begs at temples and houses for food.
The villagers suspected that excessive consumption of alcohol and non-availability of food could have been the causes for the death of the three sons.Nagamma’s daughter-in-law is a member of the gram panchayat but she lives with her mother.Locals say that the GP member left the house because her husband and his brothers were alcoholics.
Report on starvation
Two weeks ago, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, an NGO submitted a report on the starvation death to the state government and the Supreme Court.
The team visited Nagamma’s family. The NGO report stated that “starvation was reason behind the death of three siblings”.
A copy of the report has been submitted to Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader and Food and Civil Supplies commissioner and also to Supreme Court.
Deaths not due to starvation: DC
Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul clarified that the deaths were not due to starvation. “A team of officials from Karwar visited the spot and checked with villagers and local officials. There was 50 kg raw rice and vegetables at their house during the tragedy. There are also ‘Anna Chatras’ (free food stalls) in the surrounding areas and Nagamma’s daughter-in-law is a member of Gokarna gram panchayat,” he said.