While Prime Minister Narendera Modi dared Pakistan to compete India in a battle to fight poverty and hunger at BJP’s Kerala party rally, a news article about a tribal couple in Tripura, having sold their daughter for mere Rs 650 spoke multitudes about the internal battles countrymen are fighting everyday!
The batter of hunger and misfortune of being poor, reel over everything when a family struggles to choose the life of a few of its members over all members.
The couple who sold an infant for money belonged to the BPL or below poverty category. And Rs 650 meant 2 time meal for family of 4 for 10 days.
It is widely reported that most of the kids are sold to sponsor several other perils such as child trafficking, child labour, flesh trade and other socio economic factors such as illegal adoption.
Indian government currently uses Rs 37 (rural) and Rs 42 (urban) per capita expenditure as benchmark for poverty while internationally an income of less than $1.9 (= Rs 130) per day per head of purchasing power parity as a benchmark. As per the current Indian standards approximately 30 % of Indian population is living reeling under the clutches of poverty.
The news is a big reminder to set our national priorities. Is ensuring Rs 45 a day to a person enough to eradicate poverty in this country? Do we have a political willingness to fight this menace? In a country where Birthday Bash, Travel expenses and ad campaigns of popular politicians crosses several thousands of crores, more than 40 crore of people live in extreme state of poverty.
Reacting to the news, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Sudip Roy Barman condemned the sorry state of Tribals in the state and said “People are dying because of poverty. This government is in such a callous mood that they are least bothered…rather they are busy trying to suppress these facts and figures.”
Barman also highlighted that most cases are not reported by media as “the government cover them up.” A child is generally sold by the parents to earn livelihood. In this case too, poverty was the reason. The parents have been arrested after the case is reported but the child is not recovered yet.
Barman also informed media about similar incidents of Gandacherra area and Kamalpur in the same district.
Even in September 2 such cases were reported where a mother sold her 2 daughters for Rs 1000 and Rs 2000 in the same month.
Till the time we have a rescue plan for utterly poor, such reports would fail to abate.