KOLKATA: After Union Railway Budget, as Union Budget is afoot and Union Government empowered with so many legislations, like Food Security Act and few others to protect poor, news breaking from hills, from closed or half-closed tea gardens in North Bengal about starvation deaths, may not bring peace to new budget planners.
There was a series of news about starvation deaths from sick or closed tea gardens recently, which though State Government denied, but starvation deaths and deaths on as serious grounds as penniless workers petering out without treatment fetch worries!
Like Madan Tamang, 52, who had had a massive heart attack three months back but didn’t have either money or anyone left with him to help him, died out the other day leaving behind his helpless wife who admitted she did not have enough money to treat him. The death occurred in Redbank Tea Garden in Dooars in Silliguri.
“It wasn’t a case of starvation death,’’ said an official in state food ministry, “if an ailing worker with a serious case with heart attack after three months died out without medicine and treatment, with hurtling food inflation, then what it is?’’ Asked a trade union leader Ashoke Ghosh.
Though it wasn’t the first case nor may not perhaps be the last one no matter how unfortunate but it all proved without a political will in State and Union Governments, much talked about Food Security Bill got no entrance in certain pockets or non-privileged areas. There’s a BJP member of Parliament from Darjeeling, not very far from Siliguri and Dooars.
While Railway Budget was censured with vitriolic attacks led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing “with fears that BJP-led NDA Government may soon enter a pro-rich and pro-reform era with different colours,’’ though she has decided to send her two ministers to the tea gardens at last.