Malnutrition: 86 children have died since January this year

HC asks Nandurbar collector to remain present in person

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, September 12, 2022, 08:49 PM IST
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Malnutrition | -- Representational pic

Taking serious note of the fact that 86 tribal children died due to malnutrition since January, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Nandurbar collector to remain personally present in the court.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik hearing a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) highlighting the issue of malnutrition and related deaths in Melghat and adjoining tribal areas.

Bandya Sane, activist from Melghat, pointed out to the court that since January this year, there have been 411 deaths in Nandurbar and 100 deaths in Melghat. In addition, 86 children died during this period.

The HC also took note that despite its August 17 order, the collector had not filed his report. Irked by this, CJ Datta said: “There are so many deaths in Nandurbar. 86 children have died since January…”

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 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.

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