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37 per cent adults suffer from hunger, says Binayak Sen

Staff Reporter
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State accused of misusing sedition laws

clarion call:Dr. Binayak Sen delivering the 5th Loknath Chowdhury Memorial Lecture organised by Communist Party of India in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty
clarion call:Dr. Binayak Sen delivering the 5th Loknath Chowdhury Memorial Lecture organised by Communist Party of India in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

Prominent human rights activist Binayak Sen on Saturday said people who protest ‘government of the day' are either branded Maoist or charged with sedition which does not require substantiation.

Delivering the fifth Lokanath Choudhury memorial lecture, Dr. Sen, who was freed from jail after the Supreme Court granted bail, said, the charge of sedition was something which was often used by the government to bury all legitimate demands.

“When United Kingdom has overthrown the sedition laws, we are continuing with it. We are going to launch a massive campaign demanding repealing of sedition laws from the country. President of India will be handed over one-million signatures against sedition laws which have deleterious impact on the society,” he said.

Citing the example of Salawa Jhudum, Dr. Sen said, “when we heard a large number of people, especially tribal people, were displaced from the village and were shepherded to a camp like being done in Malaysia and African countries, we constituted a team.”

The team found that the programme was executed by the government that intended to create a militia, rights activist said, adding that he invited the wrath as the plan was protested.

Coming to the issue of acute malnourishment prevailing in the country, Dr. Sen said as per Body Mass Index measurement about 37 per cent of adults in the country were suffering from chronic hunger.

“When it comes to scheduled tribe population, 50 per cent of tribal people are found to have BMI below 18.5 points, an indication of acute malnutrition. In the same criteria 60 per cent of scheduled caste population have below the standard BMI,” he said.

According to WHO standards, any community which has 40 per cent of its population has such BMI is treated as community in famine and incidentally Orissa has 40 per cent of its population which score below 18.5 BMI. Point, Dr. Sen said.

The rights activist called for universalisation of public distribution system which could take care of people living with chronic hunger.


  • Signature campaign planned

  • Call for universalisation of public distribution system



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