Malnutrition of Maharashtra tribal children
By Our Special Correspondent
MUMBAI, APRIL. 20. Hundreds of tribal children in remote areas of drought affected Nandurbar district of North West Maharashtra are facing death due to malnutrition.
While the Government had admitted that 135 children have died so far, the Maharashtra BJP secretary and former finance Minister, Mr. Eknath Khadse puts the toll at around 350. A local media report states that condition of over 150 children belonging to different categories of malnutrition is fast becoming serious.
Mr. Khadse told reporters here today that he visited 70 villages in four taluks of the district and found severe shortage of drinking water, foodgrains in fair price shops and lack of work in schemes like employment guarantee Jawahar Rozgar Yojana--all leading to malnutrition.
He said that Primary Health Centres were ill-equipped and low on the necessary medicine. Such a centre in Dhadgaon taluka would refer the cases to Dhule town, 175 km away.
Mr. Khadse cited the case of a tribal, Mr. Shega Padke who was left with no alternative but to walk down to his village, Dhondaicha, 57 km away from Dhule, with his dead son, Rajesh, in a back-sling. After the death, the hospital handed him the body and forced him to take it away. The family set out on foot. They had to cremate Rajesh on the way next day as the body started stinking.