A Rat a Day Keeps the Hunger Away – a New Solution for India’s Poor? –

Laura Bellinger reported.
Vijay Prakash, the principal secretary of  Bihar’s welfare department, has proposed a new idea to cope with the food shortage in India’s poorest state –  rat meat.

Prakash’s proposal includes not only popularizing rat-eating in urban areas (rat catchers will only improve their livelihoods if demand grows), but encouraging rat farming as well.

As catching rats is not easy, people will be trained in the best  rat trapping techniques, and food festivals are being planned to showcase the versatility and tastiness of the meat.

“There are twin advantages of this proposal. First, we can save about half of our food grain stocks by catching and eating rats and secondly we can improve the economic condition of the Musahar community,” he told the BBC.

According to Mr Prakash, about 50% of total food grain stocks in the country are eaten away by rodents.  He argues that by promoting rat eating, more grain will be preserved while hunger among the Musahar community will be reduced.

Many of Bihar’s extremely poor Musahar community are already rat eaters. At the bottom strata of the caste system, less than one percent of their 2.3 million population in Bihar is literate and 98% are landless.

Prakash, who claims that rat meat is tastier than chicken, has not tried it himself. “Unfortunately, or fortunately, I haven’t had rat yet but my mother has and she says it is very nice,” he said.  

We are lucky enough, we are not in their position so far, so start appreciating what you eat and drink.  Do not complaint too much when eating.
Shahrul Peshawar

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