ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Hunger in Tea Gardens

This is with reference to “Living Conditions of Tea Plantation Workers” by Sharit K Bhowmik (EPW, 21 November 2015). Indeed, it is a cruel irony that, on the one hand, starvation deaths are reported in India, and on the other, we have abundant foodgrains. India’s overall record in eradicating starvation and malnutrition seems to be quite terrible. A dreadful endemic hunger stalks surreptitiously across the country. The images of the poor having protruding bellies, sunken faces, peeling skin and sparse hair hardly arouse visual empathy and sympathetic outburst. It surfaces into our consciousness only when there is a troubling media report of starvation deaths, the most dramatic manifestation of pervasive, deeply-entrenched and chronic hunger.

However, our politicians, at the helm of power, hotly deny the reality of starvation deaths and shamelessly propagate that the deaths of starving people have nothing to do with starvation. In the words of Harsh Mander, a bureaucrat-turned-social activist, “Most claim that the deaths results from illness, or heat, or cold, or substance abuse; some even quibble that people were just chronically hungry or malnourished but not starving” (Ash in the Belly: India’s Unfinished Battle against Hunger).

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top