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Gritty rice, wormy curry

Laiqh A. Khan and Deepa Kurup

‘Sir, please tell them to at least serve us better food'

— PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR

HUNGER IS THE BEST SAUCE:A number of inmates said they cannot stomach the poor quality food at the centre.

BANGALORE: “The cooked rice served to us is full of stones while the bland and watery curry invariably contains worms,” said Rahman, a 25-year-old inmate at Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre on Magadi Road.

Mr. Rahman is among the 40 inmates currently undergoing treatment for symptoms of gastro-enteritis at the Epidemic Diseases (Isolation) Hospital on Old Madras Road. “We have no option but to eat whatever they serve if we have keep ourselves alive. Though I'm not a beggar, I'm not let out. I'm confined to the hellish conditions at the centre and forced to eat the rotten food there,” said the Davangere native who says he was mistaken for a beggar by the centre's staff.

Ugramurthy, a Banashankari resident confined at the centre, pleaded with The Hindu: “Sir, please tell them to at least serve us better food.”

The menu comprises of gruel or upma for breakfast, two ragi balls and a bowl of rice with curry for lunch, besides dinner at six. On further questioning, Mr. Ugramurthy said they are served non-vegetarian food once a week i.e., on Fridays besides egg once a week.

No food served now

Shockingly, ever since several inmates fell ill after the now-infamous Independence Day lunch, the centre's authorities are not serving food, Mr. Murthy said. A lady doctor at the Isolation Hospital, who refused to identify herself, said most of the inmates were being brought to the hospital in a “dehydrated” state.

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