The state government is facing ire for deaths of children due to malnutrition. A day after being pulled up by the Bombay high court, now National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the state government seeking a detailed report from the chief secretary over malnutrition deaths in Palghar district within four weeks.
The notice was issued taking cognisance of news reports that had alleged that there had been 600 deaths due to malnutrition in Palghar district this year, said the release issued by NHRC on Tuesday. “The concerned authorities are required to be conscious towards the plight of the residents, especially the children and elderly. Such a huge number of deaths in a year amounts to violation of right to life and health,” it added.
It has also mentioned that the controversy stoked after state tribal development minister Vishnu Savara causally said, “Let it be,” on a question pertaining to 600 deaths of children due to malnutrition, during his visit to the district. The minister was irked after the family of 6-year-old Sagar Wagh, a victim, refused to meet him. Savara later clarified saying his statement had been misconstrued.
Vinita Singhal, commissioner, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said they have not received the notice yet and will reply to it as soon as they get it. She also denied that Palghar alone had witnessed 600 malnutrition deaths. “If they (NHRC) has sought a detail report, we will prepare it. The report will comprise reasons for death, actions taken and our plans to tackle malnutrition,” Singhal told HT.