State minister for tribal development Madhukar Pichad on Sunday visited Bandrechiwadi village at Nandgaon in Jawahar tehsil in Maharashtra, where an 11-month-old severely malnourished child died of pneumonia following alleged medical negligence on July 23.
The incident came to the fore following an HT report on July 25, and the issue of malnutrition in tribal areas of Thane district had rocked the state legislature during the recently concluded monsoon session.
Pichad told HT on Sunday that he met the bereaved family of the child and took stock of the problem of malnourishment in the tribal tehsils of Mokhada, Jawahar and Vikramgarh.
He said the family would be compensated, details for which will be finalised soon.
The minister said that the welfare of tribals in the district is being looked after by three ministries — tribal welfare, child and women’s welfare, and forests: “I will convene a meeting of secretaries of all three ministries to chalk out a joint action plan to address the problems of malnutrition and employment generation for tribals.”
Providing employment to tribals during the monsoon months, when they seldom get jobs, is the main reason behind poverty and the problems associated with it, he said.
“We will find out ways to provide them employment during these slack months.”
On July 23, 11-month-old Priya Ajay Kirkira, born to parents belonging to the Warli tribe, died while being taken to the sub-district hospital at Jawahar.
Her maternal uncle Ramdas Dagdu Baraf had told HT that the girl lived with her parents at Babdrechiwadi village in Nandgaon taluka, 20km from Jawahar sub-district headquarters in Thane district.
Priya was born malnourished and weighed about 4.5 kg even 11 months after her birth.
Baraf said the local Aanganwadi records also mention she was malnourished.