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Ramu Mandal is one of many underweight and vulnerable residents in Bankat village. Some form of paralysis in his left leg has rendered Ramu unable to work for the past ten years. He had previously been an agricultural laborer. Ramu is entitled to monthly rations under the Antyodaya scheme (providing staple food for the poorest of the poor) as part of the PDS (Public Distribution System) but corruption means he is not regularly provided such food. Like much of rural Bihar state - particularly among low caste communities - the residents of Bankat regularly go hungry. Ramu's neighbour Chandu Bhuiyan, died of hunger on February 14th 2011.

Experts including the JSS (Jan Swasthya Sahyog or People's Health Support Group) argue that even when the PDS is administered properly, it needs to be extended. This is because the monthly allocation of subsidized grain will last the average family just 12 days.

Photo: Tom Pietrasik
Bankat village, Amas Block, Gaya District, Bihar. India
February 25th 2011
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©Tom Pietrasik
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Ramu Mandal is one of many underweight and vulnerable residents in Bankat village. Some form of paralysis in his left leg has rendered Ramu unable to work for the past ten years. He had previously been an agricultural laborer. Ramu is entitled to monthly rations under the Antyodaya scheme (providing staple food for the poorest of the poor) as part of the PDS (Public Distribution System) but corruption means he is not regularly provided such food. Like much of rural Bihar state - particularly among low caste communities - the residents of Bankat regularly go hungry. Ramu's neighbour Chandu Bhuiyan, died of hunger on February 14th 2011.<br />
<br />
Experts including the JSS (Jan Swasthya Sahyog or People's Health Support Group) argue that even when the PDS is administered properly, it needs to be extended. This is because the monthly allocation of subsidized grain will last the average family just 12 days.<br />
<br />
Photo: Tom Pietrasik<br />
Bankat village, Amas Block, Gaya District, Bihar. India<br />
February 25th 2011