DESPARDES — Some children eating grass in India were photographed on the the third day of 21-day countrywide lockdown amid global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Local administrative officials intervened with ration supplies after the photo went viral on social media in Varanasi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had announced a complete lockdown of the country for a period of twenty-one days. All work, except that of essential service providers, is to be stopped. Daily wage workers nationwide are reported to be suffering under the lockdown because of the nature of their work. Hunger and poverty are looming over their heads.
The Indian premier’s Lok Sabha (National Assembly) constituency, Varanasi, is no exception.
The overall situation is turning not so good as Indian economy heads towards collapse, says an India observer, a view being characterized as “twin pandemic” by The Quint (video below).
On Wednesday, a group of children were seen sitting cross-legged and eating grass, called “akri” in the local language. The six kids, about five years old, from the Musahar community, live in the Musahar Basti in Koiripur village in the Badagaon block of Varanasi district. They have been identified as Rani, Pooja, Vishal, Neerhu, Soni and Golu. Out of desperation and hunger, the children were eating the grass usually given to cattle as fodder from a wheat field in the village.
In another video, a group of children can be seen eating phaliyan, small bean-like shrub attached to the straw given to cattle to eat, from a plate.
A woman from one of the villages, said, “For the past few days, people here were close to dying. My kids were so hungry, they had to eat grass with salt and water. We went to the Pradhan, he didn’t help us. He said he’ll see what can be done.
The original report appeared in TheWire