NHRC notice to the Government of Chhattisgarh over reported hardships of villagers in Dantewada district for purchasing ration from distant places (01.11.2017)


New Delhi, 1st November, 2017

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has issued a notice to the Government of Chhattisgarh, through its Chief Secretary, calling for a report within four weeks into the allegations, reported in the media, that the residents of Barekakled village in Dantewada district have to travel a difficult terrain to and fro 110 kms to the Block Headquarters for purchasing commodities worth Rs. 100/- from a ration shop. The residents of Sandra village panchayat also have to face the same hardships, as they too don't have a ration shop in the village. The Commission also expects from the Chief Secretary to find out, if there are other areas in the State, where the people are facing such difficulties.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, reflect the plight of poor villagers who have fallen prey to the callous and negligent attitude of the district administration. It clearly amounts to violation of human rights of the villagers. The State is duty bound to ensure the right to Life and Food to its citizens.

According to the media report, the villagers have to travel by a rocky pathway, crossing mountains and drains spending an entire day in the process to reach the ration shop. They can use bicycles only to carry their stacks, as it is difficult to ride it. The area is known for the Naxalite activities and the inhabitants are already suffering a lot. The forest area, on the way is full of wild animals. They put their lives to high risk to procure 35 Kgs Rice, 2 Kgs Sugar, 2 Liter Kerosene, 2 packets of black grams and some salt, which costs about Rs. 100/-.