Saturday, September 16, 2006

Starvation deaths continue in Shankarpur village of Varanasi

Starvation deaths continue in Shankarpur village of Varanasi
This is to inform you painfully that a starvation death has taken place in Shankarpur village, block Chiraigaon, dist. Varanasi of UP state of India. He was weaver by profession. Girija Prasad Rajbhar, son of Nirhu Rajbhar was suffering from hunger and malnutrition for last 8 to 10 months. Succumb to death on 11June 06 in the morning roundabout '7 'O' clock due to hunger and deficiency of medicine.

Girija Prasad Rajbhar, weaver by profession had totally lost his livelihood. Before his death he was working as daily wager and florist, hardly to arrange two times meal for his family. Despite hard working, beyond his capacity, he was unable to get rid of utter financial crisis and poverty. Some 5 to 6 months back when the breadwinner of the family finally got bed ridden, he had to die one Sunday morning due to the terrible deficiency of medical treatment. He has left his wife, three sons, and parents after him, to whom life has become a nightmare. Though the administration had already been informed about the plight of dead weaver, no any official seem to have come to address his concern. Now that the breadwinner is no more, the family is undergoing an inexplicable crisis. Old parents will do somehow but children are not getting enough food to feed them even once in a day. Every alternate day they are bound to sleep empty stomach.

Unfortunately Pappu Rajbhar, younger brother of Late Girija Peasad Rajbhar is also on the verge of starvation death. He along with his wife and son bound to undergo same hardships, which his elder brother underwent.

The root cause of weaver's suffering lies in the discriminatory behavior of the bigwigs of the village under the leadership of village head Sunder Yadav who belong to the Yadav community. Despite the fact that they are just 450 in number out of the total population of the village, they influence every scheme of things in their favor because they are powerful and dominating enough. Shankarpur is the symbol of absolute failure of rule of law. Village head is violating all Supreme Court’s interim order on Mid Day Meal and food security schemes.
Starving Rajbhar family is paying for the same power structure of the village.
Although the state government of Uttar Pradesh claims to be spending large sums of money on welfare schemes, still people are starving, despite the knowledge of the authorities and the wider public.
Dr N C Saxena, the Commissioner of the Supreme Court charged with following-up on the court's orders related to the right to food, wrote to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh on 5 July 2005 stating that he has received no evidence of any action taken by the state government of Uttar Pradesh to address ongoing starvation deaths in Varanasi, Sonebhadra, Jaunpur, Khusinagar and Mirzapur districts. He stated bluntly in the letter that the deaths "show that Supreme Court orders are not being implemented in the state".
AHRC (Asian Human Rights Commission), Hong Kong and People’s Vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) issued the Hunger alert on the other hunger deaths of weavers in same village. FIAN International, Germany launched hotline campaign on same cases.
1. Give orders to issue a red card, food for work, and place him under other support schemes.
2. Take appropriate action against the negligent authorities for the death due to diseases of malnutrition and starvation and against the panchayat (village) secretary, village head and others for taking no action to prevent starvation deaths in the village.
3. Ensure the Dalit cook for midday meal in Primary school of Shankarpur Village according the Supreme Court order in case of PUCL v/s Govt. of India. Take appropriate action against the panchayat (village) secretary, village head and others for taking illegal action to remove the dalit cook and appoint the OBCs male cook.

Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister's Secretariat
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Fax: + 91-522-2230002/2239234
1. Justice A. S. Anand
National Human Rights Commission
Sardar Patel Bhaven, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi - 110 001
Tel: + 91 11 23346244
Fax: + 91 11 23366537
E-mail: or
2. Justice A P Mishra
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission
6-A Kalidass Marg
Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
3. Mr. Jean Ziegler
UNCHR, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
c/o Mr. Carlos Villan Duran
Room 4-066
Palais Wilson,
Rue des Paquis 52,
Fax: +41 22 917 9010
4. Mr. Anthony Banbury
Regional Director
World Food Programme
Unit No. 2, 7th Floor
Wave Place Building
55 Wireless Road
Lumpini, Patumwan
Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66-2-6554115
Fax: +66-2-6554413
Email: or
5. Mr. Gian Pietro Bordignon
Country Director
World Food Programme
2 Poorvi Marg, Vasant Vihar,
New Delhi 110057
Tel: +91-11-26150000
Fax: +91-11-26150019
6. Dr. N.C. Saxena and Mr. S.R. Sankaran
Supreme Court of India
SAMYA, R-38A, 2nd floor
South Extention - part 2
New Delhi - 49
Fax: +91-11-5164 2147