Churu Drug Trials: Four Months On, Dalit Victims Report Severe Damage To Health And Caste-Based Harassment
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Churu Drug Trials: Four Months On, Dalit Victims Report Severe Damage To Health And Caste-Based Harassment

Caravan Magazine |
September 11, 2018

It was mid April, the onset of the heat wave in Rajasthan.


Twenty-one-year-old Mamta had spent three consecutive days lying on her bed next to a mud wall in her round, thatched hut. That day she gave her husband, 24-year-old Oma Ram, an ultimatum: either he finds work outside their village or she would leave.

When Oma Ram was 13 years old, his father died. Since then, he had been fending for himself by alternating as a shepherd for the village cattle and as a farm labourer during the four-month farming season each year. Like most young men from his community—Meghwals, enlisted as a Scheduled Caste in Rajasthan—he owns a small patch of farm land, two beeghas that yield abysmal harvests from millets and barley. Depending on it for livelihood is not possible. In the last two years, since his marriage, the lack of money had marred his household more than ever. With increasingly dismal rainfall each year, chances of finding work on farms closer home had grown bleak. According to the local doctor, Mamta had contracted jaundice due to regular bouts of starvation and hunger.

Credit by - Caravan Magazine

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