India denying subsidised food grains to millions of poor

New Delhi, India

Tabassum Nisha lives in a shanty in a cramped corner of New Delhi’s Malviya Nagar neighbourhood with her five children.

The 38-year-old widow, who worked as a housemaid, used to survive on a monthly income of $50 when she needed more than twice that amount to feed her children.

She somehow fed her children during the months-long lockdown, seeking small loans from neighbours and shopkeepers. When they stopped helping her, she sought help from charities in the city.

It became increasingly difficult for Nisha to feed her children, and she married off her 18-year-old daughter in December last year to reduce her burden.

Nisha thought the lockdown would not last longer than 2020. But another one was announced in April this year as the country faced a brutal second wave of the virus.

This time, there were no charities around to feed her and her children. She said she survived the second lockdown on one meal a day. Now the anticipation of a third COVID lockdown leaves her in fear of starving to death.—Agencies

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