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Bad news

india Updated: Aug 15, 2008 00:19 IST
Sravani Sarkar
Sravani Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Two NGOs in Madhya Pradesh have claimed that 21 children died of malnutrition in the last two months. The deaths occurred in 11 villages of two blocks in Satna district bordering Uttar Pradesh. These deaths come within two months of a Supreme Court order asking the Satna district collector to file an action taken report after seven children were believed to have died of malnutrition. These children too had died in the same district.

The order had come on June 21 from a commissioner appointed by the court after NGO Right to Food Campaign — one of the organsations that have claimed the 21 deaths — sought its intervention in the matter. Collector Vijay Anand Kuril was told to file the report by July 15. He was asked to outline immediate steps to tackle the situation as well as long-term measures to prevent recurrence of malnutrition deaths. Kuril has, however, not found time to send the reply yet.

“I was involved in several other administrative tasks and could not find the time to compile the report. However, it is being prepared and would be sent to Shah within a month,” Kuril told HT. The collector reiterated that the seven deaths in May were not due to malnutrition. “We will outline all the details in the report.”

State Women and Child Development Minister Kusum Mahadele said the issue is being blown out of proportion. “These are not malnutrition deaths. Even children of well-to-do families fall sick during monsoon. The media should not pay attention to such trivial issues,” she said.