HUMAN TRAGEDY: Mom puts kids on sale

HUMAN TRAGEDY: Mom puts kids on sale – how low can society stoop, the buyers and the sellers, no social economic net in Bengal ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Malda, July 18: An impoverished tribal woman is searching for buyers for her children in one of the poorest villages in Malda district.

Myno Baske’s plight comes to light at a time the Centre is planning to introduce the food security law for the “really poor”. The central benefit is unlikely to reach those like Myno who are not on the BPL list, although she has a voter ID card.

Almost the entire Najarpur village knows that 50-year-old Myno has put her children up for sale. Neighbour Shiben Das, a labourer, said: “We try to help her. But everybody here is poor. She wants to sell her children. All of us know about it.”

Najarpur is one of the poorest of the 634 villages in Malda district. Almost all the poverty-stricken villages are concentrated in the Old Malda block.

Myno said she had nothing to give her children as meals other than boiled herbs and snails. The Baskes have been living for 20 years in a ramshackle hut of bamboo leaves in the midst of a mango orchard, 15km from Malda town.

Five years ago, Myno had lost her husband, and two years later, she sold her elder son, then aged 14.

“I got Rs 2,000 from a contractor. I had sold my son Rajesh to him. What could I do? I can’t feed my children. I don’t know where he is now,” said Myno.

Her younger son, 13-year-old Subhash, has been suffering from a “weakness”, unable to get up from bed for days at a stretch and Myno is determined to sell him, too, along with daughter Fulmati, who is 11.

“At least he will get food. He can’t get up from bed and is always drowsy. I somehow collect herbs that grow on the riverbank, and snails when I get them. We boil them for food. Even that we do not get everyday. ”

The proposed food law is supposed to be launched next April for a year in one-fourth — or 200 — of the country’s poorest districts or blocks. It is not clear if Najarpur will benefit just yet, but the rural body, the Muchia panchayat, which could have made a difference for Myno and her children, is indifferent.

Upa-pradhan Dulal Chaki said he could not help the Baskes because they did not have BPL cards. Asked why the card had not been issued, Chaki was silent.

District magistrate Pramol Kumar Samanta said he was shocked. “The government does not have dearth of funds. How can a woman sell her children for want of food. I am shocked that the family has been deprived so long. I will ask the BDO to visit the family,” said Samanta.

AND BETTER RESPUN

Poverty forces lady to put kids on sale – BPL cards only for the politically affiliated in Bengal ?!!

BY THE TELEGRAPH

Malda, July 18: A tribal widow who boils river herbs and snails for food but doesn’t have a BPL card to get government help has put her two children up for sale in a Malda village that is among the district’s poorest.

Shanty-dweller Myno Baske’s plight has come to light at a time the Centre is working to pass a food security law for the “really poor” — the benefits of which are unlikely to reach anyone without a BPL card.

The 50-year-old woman lives in a bamboo hut in Old Malda’s Najarpur, which is barely 15km from the flyover-studded Malda town but remains one of the poorest of the district’s 634 villages.

Dulal Chaki, the deputy chief of the local Muchia panchayat, said he could not help as the family did not have a BPL card. He was silent when asked why the card was not being issued despite Myno having a voter ID.

Five years ago, Myno had lost her husband, and two years later, she sold her elder son, then aged 14. “I got Rs 2,000 from a contractor. I had sold my son Rajesh to him. What could I do? I can’t feed my children. I don’t know where he is now. Nobody has come to our help, not even the panchayat,” said Myno.

Her younger son, 13-year-old Subhash, has been suffering from a “weakness”, unable to get up from bed for days at a stretch and Myno is determined to sell him, too, along with daughter Fulmati, who is 11.

“At least he will get food. He is always ill. I collect herbs that grow on the riverbank, and snails when I get them. We boil them for food. Even that is not available everyday. ”

All of Najarpur knows about Myno’s search for buyers. Neighbour Shiben Das, a labourer, said: “We try to help her. But everybody here is poor. We can’t feed them everyday. She wants to sell her children. All of us know about it.”

District magistrate Pramol Kumar Samanta expressed shock. “The government does not have a dearth of funds. How can a woman sell her children for want of food? I am shocked the family has been deprived so long. I will ask the BDO to visit the family,” said Samanta. The proposed food law is to kick in next April in a fourth — or 200 — of the country’s poorest belts.

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