Paid two

Few women in impoverished packets of rural Maharashtra are aware of government welfare schemes or do not have the documents to access them

Anjali Waghmare, 21, and her infant boy were two of the 60 patients who died last October at the Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College in Nanded due to a crisis caused by multiple factors – shortage of medicines, poor infrastructure, non-functioning incubators among these.

However, Anjali’s death was not the last tragedy to hit her family who are landless Dalits. Her father Kamaji Tompe, who had borrowed Rs 50,000 from the mukadam (contractor) who employs them as cane-cutters, is now struggling with a massive debt. The family migrates every year around Diwali to western Maharashtra or northern Karnataka  during the cane-cutting season. This year they had to put in extra work in Gulbarga to start repaying the debt.

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