Indian citizen Pradhuman Singh Naruka, driving on a Rajasthan highway, was in shock as he tilted his camera from his car towards a man on the road devouring a dead dog's carcass. The incident has once again highlighted how hunger and poverty is ravaging India amidst the coronavirus lockdown.
“This man is eating [dog] meat on the road,” he narrates in the video he shared on social media.
“You don’t have food to eat? What are you eating? You will die!” he shouts at the man.
Then he instructs the man to stand at the side of the road where he approaches him with a lunchbox of food and gives him a water bottle, while covering his mouth with a handkerchief.
Without hesitation, the hungry man begins to eat the food as Naruka questions him about his background and tells him that he will give him money.
Then Naruka says to the camera: “I saw this man eating an animal that might have died on the road when I was on my way to Delhi. If you see a person on your way please help them and share this video with the government as much as you can.”
Sharing the clip on his Facebook page, Naruka wrote in Hindi: “Humanity became a shame on Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in Shahpura of Rajasthan when a labourer was forced to eat a dead dog due to hunger. No one has understood it as a big thing to help him by stopping his car. Well. I fed him and gave him money. If you ever see someone hungry, please help.”
The video was posted by social media users, with many tagging government officials in their posts.
Twitter user @LavanyaBallal wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the current ruling political party in India: “This is beyond heartbreaking. No one deserves this. He is eating the carcass of a dead dog. @narendramodi India won’t forget this amount of pain and humiliation heaped on the poor #ShamelessBJP”
Twitter user @desaideepali held Piyush Goyal, India’s current minister of Railways and Commerce accountable: “When Piyush Goyal says no one is starved, he must see this. Can't see, can't imagine the pain here.”
Thousands of migrant workers are currently making their way home from cities across India. Numerous stories of the labourers being killed, starved and walking without basic necessities have emerged and the Indian government has been widely criticised for mismanagement during the COVID-19 lockdown.