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Cattle Traders lynched: Farmers unable to sell Cattle due to Water shortage in Jharkhand

With only two-third of the 12,000-odd handpumps in the district working, people crowd around them and line up for several hours waiting to fill their containers with water.

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Cattles and their owners at a cattle fair in Maharashtra. (Representational Image). Image source: sandeepachetan.com
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  • In fear of repercussions, no one dares to sell cattle, and even if they try, no one is willing to buy
  • After the rivers dried up, people have dug a pit in the river bed for water for both the villagers and cattle to use
  • The emaciated cattle are seen searching  for any leaves or grass to feed on

Jharkhand’s Latehar district had just witnessed two murders this March. Mazlum Ansari, 32, and Imteyaz Khan, the 13-year-old son of another cattle trader, were hanged to death for selling their cattle. Now, Latehar district’s ponds and streams have all dried up for the first time in several years and water has become really scarce. At a time like this, farmers are unable to save their cattle as selling them in another village could lead to their death.

The tribal farmers used to sell their cattle in the dry months before the monsoon and purchase new cattle to plough fields once the monsoon arrived.  Cows and Oxen were sold for cash to tide over any financial distress, and, sometimes, to organise weddings during the lean farm months. Now, months after the lynching, villagers say no one can dare to sell cattle, and even if they try, no one is willing to buy, said the scroll.in report.

Vijay Oraon, a local contractor  told Scroll.in that tribal villagers used cattle sales as a means of supplementing their income as only subsistence farming was possible in the area.

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“I have four oxen, it becomes necessary to sell to tide over these months, but if anyone buys, they may get phaansi [be executed] Then, who will buy?”” said Babulal Oraon, a tribal farmer to Scroll.in.

With a local cow protection group propagating against the sale of cattle in the area, no one dares to sell their cattle.

According to the Scroll.in report, in Nawada village, over 50 families that survived on the cattle trade have now left that work. Most youth have left for construction work elsewhere in the district.

Cattles in a truck. Image Source: indianexpress.com

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With only two-third of the 12,000-odd handpumps in the district working, people crowd around them and line up for several hours waiting to fill their containers with water.

After the rivers dried up, people have dug a pit in the river bed for water for both the villagers and cattle to use.

In these dry lands, the emaciated cattle are seen searching  for any leaves or grass to feed on.

The Scroll.in report says that the cattle cannot be kept as there was no grass or leaves in the fields, and the only pond in the village had all but dried up.  When they got to drink water in the pond, the weaker cattle’s legs get stuck in the quicksand-like mud and they die.

Villagers fish in the only pond left with water in Amwatoli in Balumath, Latehar. Weak cattle get stuck in the wet mud if they try to enter the pond.
What is left of a pond. Image Source: Scroll.in

“The forest is catchingfire, there are no leaves on trees, nothing for the cattle to graze on, grass is all dried up. At this rate, the cattle will die,” says Kujur, a tribal Christian farmer to Scroll.in.

This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There should be some steps taken to supply water to these villages. Like we have trains which supply water to the Latur district in Maharashtra

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Rain is one of the most important factor in India. Not only does farming need water, but rearing cattle stock also requires high amount of water

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Cigars, Pipes Tied To Same Risks As Cigarettes

Traditionally, doctors have asked just whether people smoked cigarettes, but they should instead be questioning patients more broadly about tobacco use

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E-cigarettes
E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay
  • Cigarettes are not the only tobacco products which can cause death
  • Other tobacco products like cigars and pipes are just harmful
  • All these tobacco products can cause cancer

Cigarettes are not the only type of tobacco products that can lead to premature death or fatalities from smoking-related cancers, a U.S. study confirms.

While people who exclusively smoke cigarettes have twice the risk of premature death from all causes compared to people who avoid tobacco altogether, exclusive cigar smokers have a 20 percent higher risk of early death, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Cigarettes are not the only harmful tobacco products available in the market. Pixabay
Cigarettes are not the only harmful tobacco products available in the market. Pixabay

When it comes to fatalities from specific cancers that have been tied to tobacco use, cigarette smokers have four times the risk of people who never used tobacco, but cigar smokers are 61 percent more likely to die of these cancers and pipe users have 58 percent higher odds.

“We knew exclusive users of cigars and pipes were at greater risk of disease than people who do not use tobacco,” said lead study author Carol Christensen of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products. “However, this study provides information that reflects today’s patterns of tobacco use.”

Also Read: Banning E-Cigarettes Deprives Indian Smokers of a Less Harmful Alternative: Experts

These data “underscore the importance of complete quitting,” Christensen said by email.

For the study, researchers examined nationally representative survey data, collected starting in 1985, from 357,420 participants who were followed through 2011.

Overall, 203,071 people, or about 57 percent, never used tobacco at all. Another 57,251 participants were current daily cigarette smokers, while 9,414 said they had a less frequent habit and 77,773 were former cigarette smokers.

In addition, 531 people were current daily cigar smokers, while 608 individuals used cigars less frequently and 2,398 had quit.

For pipes, 1,099 participants had a current daily habit, while 78 people used pipes less often and 5,237 had quit.

Pipes, hookahs and all other tobacco products are just as harmful as a cigarette. post-gazette.com
Pipes, hookahs and all other tobacco products are just as harmful as a cigarette. post-gazette.com

During the study period, 51,150 people died of all causes.

With a daily cigarette, cigar or pipe habit, people had an elevated risk of death from tobacco-related cancers including malignancies of the bladder, oesophagus, larynx, lung, mouth and throat, and pancreas.

Nondaily users

Even with a nondaily cigarette habit, people were more than six times more likely to die of lung cancer than individuals who never used tobacco. They also had more than seven times the risk of dying from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more than four times the odds of death from oral cancers, and 43 percent higher odds of death from a circulatory system disorder.

Current cigar smokers had more than three times the odds of dying of lung cancer, and for current pipe smokers, the risk was 51 percent higher, compared with never-smokers.

The results were limited, however, by the relatively small numbers of cigar and pipe smokers in the sample, the authors noted.

Cigarettes, hookah, pipes, cigars all are equally harmful.
Cigarettes, hookah, pipes, cigars all are equally harmful.

Another limitation was that survey questions about tobacco use changed over time and didn’t determine how often nondaily smokers might have used cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Even so, the results suggest that doctors may need to broaden how they discuss smoking with patients to make sure people understand they’re at risk even when they don’t have a daily habit, said Dr. Michael Ong of the University of California-Los Angeles and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

Also Read:  Beware! Vapor smoke from E-cigarettes are just as harmful, says a new research

“Patients often do not associate the occasional use of cigar or pipes with health risks, but this study shows that current, particularly daily, cigar use is associated with increased overall risk of death,” Ong, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Doctors also need to broaden their message about smoking and cigarettes to include other tobacco products that are becoming more popular, said Judith Prochaska, a researcher at Stanford University in California who wasn’t involved in the study.

e-cigarettes
Smoking e-cigarettes are not a healthier alternative to smoking. cigarettes Pixabay

Traditionally, doctors have asked just whether people smoked cigarettes, but they should instead be questioning patients more broadly about tobacco use, Prochaska said by email.

“The tobacco landscape has been changing dramatically,” Prochaska added. “While cigarettes remain the primary tobacco product used, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah, and even pipe tobacco have seen gains in use, while cigarette use in the U.S. has been declining.” VOA