Lockdown: ‘Starvation’ killed a migrant women in Karnataka

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Ground Report, Wahid Bhat:
A woman, who walked some 300kms from Bengaluru died of starvation. The unfortunate incident happened at Ballari in Karnataka. Since there is no work left in the city, they are on their ways to the village. Gangamma, 29, was a construction worker. She was part of a group of labourers who were forced to leave Bengaluru after the lockdown. After the countrywide lockdown, the migrant workers from large cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are moving to home town.

The Supreme Court and the central government have repeatedly instructed state governments to provide food and shelter to migrant workers and ensure they stay where they are. Gangamma died of starvation while on her way home to Raichur.

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Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa expressed regret over the death of 29-year-old Gangamma. It’s sad and tragic. He ordered an inquiry into the case. Chief minister also promised to provide financial support to the family. The apex court and the central government have directed the states to provide food and shelter to migrant workers and ensure that they stay where they are.

Gangamma’s husband has alleged that she died of starvation. Gangamma suffered from kidney ailment and hepatitis-B which led to her death. The deputy commissioner said food and medicine had been provided to all workers who arrived at the border camps. She is survived by husband H Mallikarjuna, 35, and a son, 14.

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Gangamma’s family left Raichur a year ago to go to Bengaluru for work. He worked as a laborer at a construction site there. The lockdown was announced on March 24. Gangamma then left for Raichur along with other laborers. There was no vehicle and they started walking. Upon reaching Ballari’s border on April 1, they were examined and sent to a shelter camp. She was taken to VIMS Hospital after Gangamma fell ill. She died on April 5.

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