UP: Musahars, the rat-eating Mahadalits, dying out of starvation; authorities say they are lying
Multiple people of the Musahar community died due to hunger but none of the government records mention ‘hunger’ as the reason for their deaths. Musahar is a ‘Mahadalit’ community of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government celebrated September as National Nutrition Month to mark India’s fight against malnourishment, meanwhile, two sons of Sonwa Devid died due to starvation in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report by the Times of India (TOI), in Rakba Dulma Patti Village located in eastern UP, Virendra Musahar and his family died due to hunger. The family included his 30-year-old wife Sangeeta, his six-year-old son and two-month-old daughter. Reportedly, their deaths went unnoticed because the family belonged to Musahar- a ‘Mahadalit’ community, that has been ostracised by the community and since ages, they depend on rats and other rodents as their primary source of food.
The community still believes in consumption of rats and snails as their primary source of nutrition due to abject poverty. The government officials insisted that the deaths were not hunger-related. Reportedly, 55.9% of marginal workers are Musahars as compared to 39.7% scheduled class workers. The scheduled caste main workers comprise 60.3% whereas only 44.1% Musahars are the main workers.
The community face discrimination not only on professional grounds but the literacy rate amidst the Musahar community is only 19%, whereas 51% scheduled caste is literate. TOI mentioned 2.6 lakh people in Uttar Pradesh are Musaharas.
Though reportedly, multiple people of the community died due to hunger but none of the government records mention hunger as the reason for their deaths. The Musahar community members told TOI that rats and snails help them survive and most of them live on daily wages as no one give them a permanent job.
Source: Times NowNews, Oct 8, 2018