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After 7 deaths, Bengal govt to provide nutritious food to Sabars, Lodhas

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

The government has

decided to distribute material at subsidised rates to members of the and Lodha communities in the state, an said Wednesday.

The move comes after reports last month said that seven people of the community have died due to starvation in Jangalmahal region of district.

People belonging to the two communities, who already get rice and wheat at Rs 2 per kg each, would now receive pulses and soyabean at reduced prices under a proposed scheme through the public distribution system, a at the state secretariat told

The Sabars belong to the Munda ethnic group and is a de-notified tribe. Both the communities reside mostly in district and parts of

The said the and supplies department would give extra emphasis on the quality of the distributed to the two communities.

The department would soon employ officers who would visit the areas where the two communities live and review their condition, he said.

"Our officers will take into consideration their earnings and its mode. Depending on the reports, we will take up programmes to raise the standard of their lives," he said.

Secretariat sources said that as per directives of the Chief Minister's Office, its has also been decided that special health camps will be opened in areas inhabited by the two communities.

However, had refuted the alleged starvation death reports as "fabricated", saying that the deaths either happened due to "age-related ailments" or "excessive liquor consumption".

"People have died in Jangalmahal due to excessive consumption of liquor or age-related ailments. While two people have died of illness and old age, others have died due to liver problems caused by excessive consumption of liquor," she had said.

Banerjee had also said the provides to "every poor person" in the state.

"The reports that people from community have died due to starvation is absolutely false and fabricated. No one has died in Bengal due to starvation. We provide free rice and wheat to each and every poor person in this state from the hills in the north to Jangalmahal in the south," she had stated.

The Jangalmahal is a tribal area which is spread across Purulia, Bankura, and districts of and were once hit by Maoist violence.

Besides West Bengal, the Sabar community is found in Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, whereas the Lodhas are found in Odisha.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 18:25 IST