Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai posted a tweet on Monday claiming that hunger is stalking parts of Banda in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and one of the folks with whom his colleague Mausami Singh spoke to for a new story had died, implying that his death was due to starvation.
A video was attached along with the tweet which showed the pre-funeral preparations being done, presumably by the family members of the man, who according to Rajdeep had died of hunger caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Rajdeep also alleged in his tweet that the government’s food aid had not been reaching the poorest families.
“Hunger is stalking parts of Banda in Bundelkhand once again in lockdown times..today, one of the people @mausamii2u spoke to for a story passed away..and to think that grain is rotting in godowns..when will government ‘packages’ reach the poorest families?” Rajdeep tweeted.
What Rajdeep insinuated through this tweet was that the government had failed in providing the food packages to the needy and the destitute and the coronavirus induced lockdown has wreaked havoc on them, causing deaths due to hunger while the grain is rotting away in godowns.
Banda DM fact-checks Sardesai
The District Magistrate of Banda took cognisance of Rajdeep’s tweet and responded claiming that the facts of the unfortunate death of the man were different then what Rajdeep alleged.
The DM informed that the deceased man-Rajkumar’s wife is a ration-card holder who had procured 20 kilograms of wheat and 15 kilograms of rice on April 1, 2020, 5 kgs of rice on April 17, 20 kgs of wheat and 15 kgs of rice on May 6 and then 5 kgs of rice and 1 kg of chickpeas on May 18, all free of cost under various government schemes. The District Magistrate said that the man died of prior illness and not because of hunger.
Sardesai shares video
However, Rajdeep responded back with the interview of the man which was conducted last week. The man in the video identifies himself as Rajkumar and claims that he has had no food in the last four days. He further alleges that his requirement is of 35 kilograms of ration but the government authorities have provided only 5 kilograms of rice for his family of 7-8 members.
पिछले हफ़्ते हमने Rajkumar जी जिनकी death हुई है उनको interview किया था.. उन्होंने हमसे यह कहा था! सुनिए.. pic.twitter.com/saa5dvwQWE— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 1, 2020
“The problem is the lockdown. We can’t go anywhere. We are starving here from the last 4 days…there is nothing in my home. Nobody is helping us. The authorised ration-shop owners are only providing us with 5 kilograms of rice while we are a family of 7-8 people. We should be provided with at least 35 kilograms of ration but we are being given only 5 kilograms,” the man said.