Taking a serious note that 86 tribal children have died due to malnutrition since January, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Nandurbar collector to remain present in court as he hasn’t filed his report on the issue despite the order on August 17.
Hearing a batch of public interest litigations (PILs) highlighting the issue of malnutrition and related deaths in Melghat and adjoining tribal areas, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik also asked the director of health to submit his own report in the matter.
Meanwhile, Bandya Sane, an activist from Melghat, pointed out that 411 other people have died in Nandurbar and 100 in Melghat since January. The court then frowned at the state for its steps taken to fill posts of doctors in tribal areas.
The court also frowned at the State for its steps taken to fill posts of doctors for tribal areas. “Steps taken are only lip service. Advertisements are issued as if it is the end of the matter. What is the follow-up, you must tell us,’’ said CJ.
On a court query, government pleader Neha Bhide said that she will try to get the data of how many doctors there and how many more doctors are required.
CJ quipped that the government issues “advertisement for the same and that is the end of the matter”. “You should take it to the end result,” said CJ.
Apart from asking the Collector to remain personally present, the HC has asked him to submit a report.
In additions, the Director of health has been asked to submit a further report in regards to the deaths of children due to malnutrition in Nandurbar. The HC has asked the affidavits/ reports have to be submitted by September 21 and kept the matter for hearing on September 23.