Nutrition and health services for mother and siblings of the malnourished children admitted to nutrition rehabilitation centres (NRCs) is among one of the major recommendations of the National Commission for Protection of Children's Rights (NCPCR) sent to state government recently.
The commission has come up with a host of recommendations - both district level and state level - after visiting the malnutrition-hit Sheopur and Satna districts last month. The commission has sought action taken report from the state government within a month.
Member of the commission Vandana Prasad visited the afflicted villages, local NRCs and health facilities in the districts in September last week, immediately after HT reported number of deaths of children of alleged malnutrition and related diseases.
In a letter accompanying the recommendations and observations to the state government, Prasad has appreciated recent efforts for malnourished children, but expressed disappointment at the lack of preparedness and the poor quality of services that still persist in tribal pockets exemplified by Veerpur village (Sheopur).
"Not only were services visibly poor, supervision and planning was particularly lacking. This exhibits a disappointing lack of priority and urgency towards a predictable and recurrent tragedy," Prasad said in her letter.
As for the recommendations, the commission has sought provision of `vulnerable tribal group' to Mawasi, Khairwar, Kol and Korku tribes, development of a comprehensive integrated plan for community-based management of malnutrition, appropriate disciplinary action for supervisory lapses and others.
The commission has also said that highest priority should be accorded to vulnerable tribal pockets to ensure the provision of all development services and the socio-economic development of communities.
The commission has made specific recommendations for anganwadis in affected villages like Veerpur Sahrana (Sheopur) and Kirhai Pokhari (Satna), a set of recommendations for nutrition rehabilitation centres and overall policy recommendations.
· A second anganwadi centre (AWC) in Veerpur. The anganwadi worker and helper should be necessarily from the village and live there. Adequate training for them
· Appropriate disciplinary action needs to be taken against the supervisory cadres for the neglect of growth monitoring in Veerpur Saharana over a long period of time
· Antodyay cards for all tribal families with separate cards for major children
· Work should be provided to tribal families on a priority basis under MNREGA
· Either the cheque system of compensation for wage loss is to be abandoned or banking services to open accounts must be provided while the child is admitted at the NRC
· The immunisation status of the admitted and accompanying child should be checked and immunisation ensured. A complete health check up should be conducted of children who do not respond to nutritional rehabilitation
· Every NRC should benefit from the advice of a paediatrician, especially those serving vulnerable tribal areas