Gosh, it’s nearly a month since our last episode of highlighting happenings in Incredible India.
If it’s India, can Sania, acid attacks, starvation deaths and the like be far behind.
Here’s a look at some of the only-in-India stories:
* Where have all the Indian men gone.
The Indian census says there about 602 million males in India, and yet not one worthy enough of Indian tennis player Sania ‘chronic loser‘ Mirza.
The poor woman finally had to seek the help of Pakistani Chutiyas to help her out.
Tch tch. Sad.
Or maybe the census is all wrong and there are no men in India.
Only women and hijras. Possible na? 😉
* A 9th standard school girl in the South Indian town of Tenali in the state of Andhra Pradesh is battling for life after a 23-year-old spurned, love-lorn youth hurled acid at her.
Here is an excerpt from the story in the TOI:
A 16-year-old class IX girl student is battling for life after being subjected to an acid attack by a jilted lover at Tenali in this district on Wednesday evening.
According to the police, 23-year-old Kopparavuri Subba Rao, an agricultural labourer from Darsi village in Prakasam district, got familiar with the girl who is a student of the government school at Venigalla village near Tenali. The two met when the girl visited her sister-in-law in Darsi for a function a few years ago.
Since then, the accused maintained contact with the girl over telephone, the police said. However, a month ago, the girl stopped talking to him on the advice of her parents. Angered by this, Subba Rao landed in Venigalla village on Tuesday but learnt that she was visiting her elder sister in Tenali. Subba Rao arrived in Tenali in an inebriated condition around 4.30 pm on Wednesday.
After tracking down the house where the girl was, he threw acid on her as soon as she opened the door.
Andhra Pradesh is, of course, India’s acid capital given the horrific instances of acid-throwing reported from the state.
* In India’s hungriest state Jharkand, nearly 50,000 children die before their first birthday.
Read this excerpt from the Frontline story:
Kachan village in Palamu district’s Chainpur block is also a place where children die of malnutrition. Over the last few years, at least 12 children have died of starvation. When Nepali Bhuyian’s three-year-old daughter died last October, doctors reported that she died of poisoning caused by some leaves that her parents had cooked for her. There was no food, so they had gathered the leaves from the forest to feed her. It was the first time they were trying these leaves.
This year, a family in Chorhat, another village in the same block, is in a similar situation. Patiya Devi’s six-year-old daughter, Surti, crawls instead of walking because her legs cannot bear her weight. The child’s stomach is protruding, her head is slightly deformed, and her legs are reed thin. Her mother says the family does not even have one proper meal a day. Most mothers in the village complain that they do not have enough breast milk to feed their children. Most residents report that almost every household has lost a child under the age of six. Malnutrition of Grades 3 and 4 is common. (Grade 1 is the mildest and Grade 4 is severe.)
It is not just two villages that are in this desperate situation. In 2009, a survey done by Vikas Sahyog Kendra, an organisation based in Palamu, revealed that in 20 villages surveyed, there were 13 starvation deaths and around 1,000 families suffered from chronic hunger syndrome. The NFHS-2 in Jharkhand puts the crude birth rate (CBR) at 26.5 and IMR at 70 per 1,000. The percentage of underweight children under the age of three is 54.4. Extrapolating this information in numbers, of 713,088 live births each year, 49,916 infants die before they reach their first birthday. This figure does not take into account the deaths of children into their second and third years. According to the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, New Delhi, more than 10 lakh children under the age of three in Jharkhand are underdeveloped and malnourished. According to NFHS-3, the percentage of highly anaemic women and children is particularly high in Bihar and Jharkhand (around 70 per cent). To top this, Jharkhand also has an abysmally low rate of institutional delivery, much lower than the national average of 40 per cent.