Twenty days after an 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega district died after being denied food because she did not have Aadhaar-linked ration card, Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Tuesday said he has asked for a report within 24 hours. “We will take stern action against those found guilty,” Das said.
Right to Food Campaign activists said that 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari had died on September 28 after family’s ration card was cancelled because it was not linked to their Aadhaar number. With no access to the school mid-day meal during the Durga Puja holidays, Kumari went with barely any food for eight days before she died.
The block development officer, Sanjay Kumar Kongari, maintained that the girl died of malaria, and not starvation. He, however, said the family’s name had been struck off the list of beneficiaries as their ration card could not be linked to an Aadhaar number, the Hindustan Times reported. Activists said technical glitches caused the error.
On Tuesday, Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Saryu Rai told ANI that clear instructions were given to distribution centres that ration should not be denied even if ration cards were not linked to Aadhaar.