Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday pulled up the Maharashtra Government for not properly handling issues related to malnutrition in the state.
While hearing a bunch of PILs regarding malnutrition among children in Melghat region of Vidarbha and other tribal areas in Maharashtra, the High Court said, “The problem is various order have been passed, we keep on passing orders and nothing seems to happen. It is public money, it is tax payers money, it should be used for the purpose it is earmarked.”
“Sometimes we feel we are doing an exercise in futility. Kind of sensitivity required from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is absent. They are just not concerned,” the court observed.
The High Court also said that when the British Government was here, they didn’t bother to take any interest in tribals.
“Look at the approach towards tribals. Though we have got independence, the same approach has continued. The bureaucracy has same approach. We are giving you last chance,” the High Court said.
The High Court also said that it would come out with an order on October 26.
Before the next hearing, the BJP-led Maharashtra Government has to file an affidavit about budget allocation and its expenditure on tackling malnutrition and other relevant facts about the government projects in this regard.
Earlier in September, voicing concern over death of 17,000 persons due to malnutrition in tribal areas of Maharashtra in the last one year, the court had asked the state government to take immediate steps to tackle it and submit details of central grants received for tribal welfare.
One of the petitioners had showed the court a reply received through the Right to Information (RTI) Act which said over 17,000 persons, including women and children, had died due to malnutrition in the state in the last one year.
The court was also informed that 283 persons had died in Melghat region during 2015-16 and additional 83 from January 2016 to July 2016.