Lahuari, a village 50 km south of Gaya district headquarter at the Bihar-Jharkhand border has less privileged to have a contact with urban areas. Encircled with great flora and fauna and hilly areas, the village has no means of transportation. Small and large water streams which generally gets dry most of the month except monsoon cut off the area from outer world. Enter the village by no means other than two wheelers (if a villager has, unfortunately no one keeps a motorbike) or on foot. The so-called existing road has no significance. During the monsoon people consider it better to keep themselves in their shell as they find it cumbersome to have a contact with the outside world. The river course during the monsoon comes with more unpleasant situation and during the whole period people feel themselves helpless. For medical assistance they have to depend on half-boiled doctor in the locality. Many of the deaths had occurred due to lacking of medical assistance on time.
As the Centre and the Nitish Kumar-led state government continue to fight to take credit for poor-oriented schemes, the Musahars of Bihar, the legendary rat-eaters who are at the bottom of the social ladder, are wondering what the debate is all about. Whether it is MNREGA or benefits promised under Kumar's Mahadalit initiative, development seems to have passed them by.
According to Musahars themselves, there is no other scheme which has failed them more than the high profile and ground breaking MNREGA. Right from Danapur near Patna to Jehanabad and Gaya in central Bihar, there is no dearth of Musahars who mouth expletives at the mere mention of MNREGA.
Tea Labourers dying of hunger in Assam
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) has learnt about 10 recent deaths due to starvation, malnutrition and lack of medical care in Bhuvan Valley Tea Estate, a privately owned tea garden, in the district of Cachar in North-East Indian state ofAssam. The conditions of at least 5 others are so bad that it would be hard for them to survive a month without urgent medical and nutritional intervention. Arbitrary and exploitative actions of both the estate management and government drove about three thousand labourers and their families on the verge of starvation. The management abruptly closed the garden on 8 October, 2011 without paying wages due for 9 weeks, dues from provident fund and other benefits and alternative livelihood. The government public distribution system (PDS) and health care facilities are conspicuous by their absence. It is feared that without urgent and substantial intervention reports of deaths will keep coming.