According to police, they were informed about her death on Sunday only after the lady's younger son Hulas Mahato reached the home, The Indian Express reported.
An elderly woman in Giridih district of Jharkhand has allegedly died of starvation. The deceased has been identified as Savitri Devi (58) and was a resident of Mangargaddi village which falls in Dumri block in the district. According to police, they were informed about her death on Sunday only after the lady’s younger son Hulas Mahato reached the home, The Indian Express reported.
Mahato said that his mother’s name was included in a scheme for widows in 2014 but she had not been receiving her pension for the last three years. According to Mahato, after his father’s death in 2010, the little produce they got from a small family-owned farm lasted for just two or three months. Mahato said that the stipend he was receiving through an apprenticeship programme in Uttar Pradesh was also too little to feed the family of eight.
“For nearly three days, no food was cooked in the house,” Mahato told The Indian Express. He said that his elder brother was not getting his salary regularly. He informed that his elder brother’s wife, her three kids, his wife and their daughter were living together with his mother.
Police said that the lady breathed her last on Saturday. The woman’s family had no ration card and was thus unable to receive food-grains, officials said. They added that a probe is underway to know whether the family had submitted a formal application for the same. They also said that they are probing why the woman and other family members were not getting any government benefits.
“We reached her home on Sunday afternoon. The administration was not informed about it earlier. Prima facie, there was no food in the house. The family did not have ration card. We are probing whether an application was submitted and, if so, whether it was properly processed,” Rahul Dev, Executive Magistrate and Dumri Block Development Officer (in-charge), said.
Ram Prasad Mahato, mukhiya of Chainpur Panchayat, said that he had verified the documents of Savitri’s ration card ‘but he was clueless whether she submitted it in the block office or not’. “Savitri’s elder daughter-in-law had come to me about two months ago for verification of her ration card application. I had verified it.”
Meanwhile, following Savitri’s death, a local dealer has arranged 50 kg rice for the family. The family has requested the administration not to send the body for postmortem and cremate it.
When the matter was brought to the notice of state Food and Supplies Minister Saryu Roy, he directed the Deputy Commissioner to submit a detailed report of the incident.