The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to Maharashtra government over reports of 600 children dying this year due to malnutrition in Palghar district of the state.
Taking suo motu cognisance of reports, the Commission said the excerpts of the news stories reveal that the areas with tribal population are the “most vulnerable” as they are already affected by poverty, illiteracy and a lack of awareness towards government welfare and health care schemes.
The Commission issued the notice to the Chief Secretary of the state and sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks, NHRC said in a statement today.
The worst affected areas are Mokhada, Jawar, Wada and Vikramgadh taluks in the district.
The Commission observed that the state authorities are required to be conscious towards the plight of the residents, especially the children and aged persons.
Such a huge number of deaths of the children in a year amounts to violation of right to life and health of the poor victims, it said.
A tribal woman lost her two-year-old child due to severe malnutrition in August. The angry residents of tribal village Khoch confronted the tribal welfare minister of the state, who said that the government was doing its work and the schemes were being implemented, it said.
The locals had alleged that funds are being allocated but not reaching the beneficiaries.
According to another media report, the district administration has undertaken the screening of all children in Palghar’s four tribal talukas following a large number of malnutrition cases reported from these places. The work is being done with the help of the anganwadi workers, the statement said.