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77% of the most vulnerable tribes forced to eat less since closure | India News


About 56% of those who had no income in April and May still do not. And what has directly affected is their ability to buy food.
About 77% of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) have reduced food consumption compared to the pre-shutdown period, said a survey by the nonprofit Right to Food Campaign (RTF), ‘Hunger Watch’ , published Wednesday.
“For many of them, the source of income was the forest gathering of bamboo or betel leaves. They sell them and buy food. They have no agricultural land. During these three or four months, they collected products but could not sell them. There were no markets, so they had no income, ”Dipa Sinha, RTF coordinator and assistant professor at Ambedkar University in Delhi, told TOI.
The in-person survey of 4,000 people from underserved communities in 11 states during September and October found that the amount of food consumption had also decreased for 74% of surveyed Dalits, 54% of Adivasis and 69% of CBOs. . How easy it was to access food seems to be associated with identity: one in four of the Dalit and Muslim communities said they faced discrimination when accessing food in a confinement. For those in the ‘general’ category, it was one in 10.
Of those who said they never had to go to bed hungry before being locked up, one in seven said they now had to. And 45% said they had to borrow money to buy food.
What suffered the most was the quality of consumption. Of those in the survey who consumed eggs and meats before the lockdown, 91% said they could no longer afford it. About 73% said they had reduced green vegetables in their diet and 64% said they had to reduce dal.
This ties in with what they have been surviving: government food grains. Approximately 75% of those surveyed had ration cards and 69% received free additional food grains each month under the Public Distribution System (PDS). “More than half of the people get free cereal, it is better than nothing … But despite that, there is a lot of hunger. It shows how bad the situation is, ”said Sinha. “Also, it is still a nutrition problem. It’s just cereal. So when we asked about other foods, more people said their consumption was down. ”
And just having ration cards didn’t always mean access to food. Sometimes the names of all family members were not added or the quality of the dal was so bad that people would not take it.
Then there was the persistent problem of those who couldn’t get food from the government because they didn’t have the papers. Shalu from Kusumpur Pahari, along with the exclusive Vasant Vihar from Delhi, for example, never knew his exact date of birth, just a ballpark. When he tried to get his Aadhaar card made, he only mentioned the year of his birth. They told him it would work. “But now when the food department seeks to verify the ration card request against the UID database … it says unverified and rejects the request,” said a case study shared by RTF.
“People have to go back and modify their Aadhaar.” And when Pooja, who lives in a shelter near Connaught Place in Delhi, went to apply for a ration card, the food department insisted on an electricity bill. Even when she explained that she is homeless.

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