Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath on Thursday held the Madhya Pradesh government responsible for the deaths of 43 children in tribal-dominated Jhabua district, 110 km from Indore.
Tirath was on a visit to villages in Meghnagar block of the district, from where the alleged malnutrition deaths of the children in the age group of 0-6 were reported.
“While the Centre provided funds for women and child welfare schemes, it was the state that was the main implementing agency. However, the statehad failed to utilise 40 per cent of the budget allotted to it by the Union department,” she said.
During the daylong visit, Tirath toured Bhagor, Kallipura, Madrani, Basunia, Saat and Ochka villages.
Members of the right to food campaign, a network of more than 100 organisations, and the Madhya Pradesh Lok Sangharsh Sajha Manch claimed that the deaths were caused by starvation and malnutrition, based on a survey they had conducted.
Tirath has asked the district administration to submit an official report on the deaths within a week. “We have to find out whether it was malnutrition or other diseases that caused these deaths,” Tirath said.