Most AES Victims in Bihar Are Dalits, EBCs and Muslims -Mohd. Imran Khan

According to health officials in Muzaffarpur, AES cases are mostly coming from Mushahar, Ravidas and Paswan communities due to “their poor living conditions”.

Chedi Manjhi, Ravinder Manjhi, Raj Kishor Ram, Haran Paswan, Anup Manjhi, all are Dalits. They have one more thing in common—all of them are fathers of children who have died due to AES in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur in the last fortnight.

Chedi Manjhi’s eight-year-old son Aditya Kumar reportedly died due to AES in the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. “My son died after suffering from Chamki bukhar [local name for AES] in the first week of June. We are poor, fighting to earn our daily bread, but God is killing our children. I am not alone; there are many like me in different Dalit hamlets,” said Chedi Manjhi, a resident of Dih Jiwar.

“Chamki bukhar is a curse for poor people like us, who are working hard to earn our livelihood. Our children are dying year after year, but there is no serious move to control it,” said Paswan, a resident of Ahiyapur in Muzaffarpur.

Paswan’s 10-year-old son Vikram Kumar died after he was admitted for treatment in SKMCH.

Several Dalits including Jogendar Ram of Sariya in Muzaffarpur, Shankar Ram of Sheogar district, Raj Kumar Manjhi of Bochahan in Muzaffarpur, and Ranjeet Ram of Maniyari in Muzaffarpur have lost their children due to AES in the last two weeks.

More than over two decades after AES first struck Muzaffarpur as an epidemic, the disease not only persists but also continues to spread among the poorer sections. Estimates say that more than 75% of the victims belong to the socially marginalised section – comprising mostly Dalits along with Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) and Muslims. There is hardly any case in which the AES-affected child belongs to a rich and well-off family.

Please click here to read more., 20 June, 2019,

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