What do you do when your mother cooks something and you don’t want to eat it because you don’t like it ? Easy ! You either you go for simple to cook options like maggi, pasta, soups etc or still better, grab a pack of chips or head to a nearby confectionery. One step ahead, if you have a lot of bucks to spare, you can always treat yourself at McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Barista or Cafe Coffee Day. Ever thought of eating a rat because you just don’t have any other option?
Flipping through the channels on the TV, I stopped to watch Kaun Banega Crorepati. The contestant on the hot seat was accompanied by Manoj Bajpai and was introducing himself and iy caught my attention. He belonged to a place in our very own country where people eat rats in order to fight hunger!
Later on, I tried knowing more about it, only to be shocked at what the internet had to offer me. As unfortunate as it is, the Musahar community in Bihar eats rats. Initially rat-catchers, they have now been nick named as ‘rodent eaters’ and are considered untouchables. What is more perturbing is the fact that the local government officials officially do not have any qualms about it. Instead they are ready to provide them with recipes that would make eating rats a delectable affair.
This condition of the community can definitely be attributed to the fact that more than 9
5% of the people here are illiterate and 98% are landless. Hence, nothing to earn and nothing to eat.
In such deplorable circumstance, the initiative of Shoshit Seva Sangh comes like a breath of fresh air. The organization works towards providing quality education to the children from the community along with facilities like boarding, clothes, healthcare etc. Shoshit Seva Sangh has set up an english medium school, Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, for the musahar community children and is determined to give these children a life they could not even dream of. What is noteworthy here is that the Chairman and Founder of the SSS, Mr. J.K. Sinha has been an IPS officer and has been the secretary to the Government of India before he retired and founded SSS.
What completely surprised me and at the same time, made me feel inferior was the fact that students from Shoshit Samadhan Kendra have done exceptionally well in their class X CBSE board exams. The Sangh along with the help of other NGOs is leaving no stone unturned in its endeavour to make these children stand among the rest of us.
Wrapping up, most of us can always have a maggi or a burger from McDonalds when we have don’t want to have that yellow dal, but the next time you see a rat running in your house, remember.. someone somewhere is helplessly hungry to have it as dinner!