Price Rise Leaves Poor Hungry

Radical price rise of food drastically affects the lives of the poor in Allahabad. When Ajeet made his video on the plight of fishermen in Allahabad a few months ago, he realised that most of the people he interviewed were barely able to eat two meals a day; in fact quite a few could only afford to make one. He said, “That is what made me realise the true effects of the price-rise. The politicians say that people are still buying despite the price-rise and this is a good thing, it is a sign of India’s power. But this is completely wrong. They are only thinking about the middle and upper classes. What about the poor classes, like us?” India has been suffering record-high inflation rates and commodity prices have been spiraling upward since the middle of last year. The annual inflation rate for 2010 was rated at 16.9%. Ajeet tells us that the price of lentils has gone up from Rs.50 to Rs.80; rice has increased from Rs.12 to Rs.22 and oil now costs Rs.90 instead of Rs.40. “Earlier I used to buy a kilo of potatoes every day for my family. But now I just can’t afford it. I can only buy potatoes every third day. And it’s the same for all the other vegetables.” As a result of a combination of market manipulation through futures trading and unseasonal weather which destroyed a lot of crops last year, the poor in India’s villages have been taking the brunt of the price-rise. Ajeet said, “The big companies are buying the farmers’ land. We hear about India supporting other countries during their crises. We have taken to the streets so many times but no one is doing anything. I would like to show my video to everyone so they are motivated, then we can all take to the streets and keep protesting until something happens.” Watch other videos by Ajeet here.

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