Mumbai: Govind Gawai (65) a farmer from Jaipur in Motala tehsil of Buldhana district died of starvation as the Public Distribution (PDS) shop owner denied him ration, stating reasons, that his ration card was not linked with Aadhar card. Though the Supreme Court has recently given a judgement that Aadhar linkage will not be mandatory to avail benefit of schemes run by the state government.
According to the complaint lodged by Panchfula (61), wife of the victim farmer, they do not have farm land. “We do not have a child and the farm land. We have two goats and it is the only source of income for us. We have not been given ration since the last two months as our ration card is not linked with the Aadhar card,” complained the widow. Gawai is included in the beneficiary list of Antyoday yojna in which government distributes 35 kilograms of wheat for Rs 2 per kg rate.
“As we did not have grains in the house, we had requested the ration shop owner to give them ration. My husband wandered here and there for three days to link his ration card with Aadhar. He was hungry for three days and had eaten nothing. Finally, he died on September 22,” she said. Panchfula Gawai added, even for the after death programme on the third day, the shop owner did not give her ration. She demanded the ration shop owner is responsible for the death of her husband and police should take action against him.
Harshwardhan Sapkal, Congress legislator from Buldhana met the family of late Gawai has also demanded action for the hunger death of the farmer. “The previous government of Congress has started Antyoday and the Food Security Scheme. It is right of every beneficiary to get ration from the PDS shop. However, the ruling BJP government has made it mandatory that unless and until, ration card will not be linked with Aadhar, he will not avail benefit of any scheme,” said the legislator.
Sunil Vinchankar, sub-divisional officer of Malkapur from revenue department has assured an inquiry and action against those who are responsible for the death of Gawai. Meanwhile, the district administration has suspended the license of the R V Rathi, the owner of PDS shop. The government has affirmed Gawai was given ration in June this year, but his card was not linked.