Drought-hit villagers in Jharkhand survive on wild groundnuts

     Several villages in Jharkhand's Palamu district are hit by drought, forcing people to survive on wild nuts and roots in the absence of rations. The Baadi Jharia village has been declared as drought- affected by the provincial government, but villagers have not received any help so far. The villagers are surviving on wild groundnuts, known locally as 'Kanda Gaithi' and some other herbs, which they get from the forests near their village. Though groundnuts are not considered edible, villagers say they have no other option. "To make this wild groundnut eatable, I have to go through a long process of cleaning it. Firstly, I clean the Kanda Gaithi (wild groundnut) then wash it and roast it to reduce its poisonous effect, then keep it in the river for a whole night and later, early in the morning I boil it and then eat it," said Lalua Devi, a villager. Other villagers said the government has not provided them any ration cards so far. "The situation of our villagers is the worst. There is no road in our area, the houses are also damaged, and the government is not even providing us rations. The government officials come and take pictures of our village but never take an initiative for our plight," said Bigan Oraon, another villager.

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