In Lucknow outskirt, hungry man hangs self
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The fireplace meant for cooking at 32-year-old Ram Khelawan's house at Kathwara village in Bakshi Ka Talab area had not been lighted for the last four days. He and wife Rekha, elder son Sachin (3) and younger son Golu (2) survived on the food that they got from begging from the villagers. On Saturday, he could not bear it any more and hanged himself from a tree outside the village located about 20 kilometres from the state capital.
On Friday night, the family had shared the dinner of one chapatti and chutney which Rekha had brought from their neighbour's house. With Khelawan being ill, he ate half a piece of bread, another half his son Sachin. His wife did not eat anything while younger son was made to drink water so that he could fall asleep. After spending the night on a bed of paddy straw and torn blanket on the floor of his only 10X6 feet room, Khelawan woke up before 5 am next morning, told his wife that he was going to attend nature's call and got rid of his prolonged illness and stark poverty.
Besides a few vessels and clothes there are two other things left at his house — a Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna card, which did not help him in getting his illness treated, and a flush toilet built under Total Sanitation Scheme.
Khelawan's cousin Gangaram said that they made several requests to village pradhan so that the family could get a BPL card, which would have helped them in getting subsidised ration, but in vain. The family could never avail the benefits of several other schemes like MGNREGA, Gangaram said.
According to Rekha, the family was not having any problem until 2010 when Khelawan stopped working in the field as a daily-wage labourer after he developed a pain at the back of his neck. "Khelawan went to several hospitals but got no relief. In July, we had to mortgage our 2 bigha land for four years at Rs 21,000. The money was spent on his treatment," said Rekha. She said no food was cooked at home since Tuesday. "I used to ask for something to eat from villagers. But they also started to deny us food. How long could they give on providing us food?" she said.