The death toll of tribal infants mounts to 36

One more child, a newborn, died in Attappady on Sunday, taking the death toll of tribal infants to 36 during the last 16 months.

Three other children from Attappady were admitted in critical condition in the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

The child of Sindhu and Murukeshan of Poothupady hamlet of Agali Grama Panchayat died soon after birth on Sunday morning. Sindhu was admitted to a private hospital in Attappady three days ago.

K.A. Ramu, uncle of Sindhu told The Hindu over phone from Attappady on Sunday evening that the doctors told that the mother would have a normal delivery. But she developed some complications and was operated on Sunday morning.

After a Cesarean procedure the child developed some breathing trouble and was taken to a specialty hospital in the near by Coimbatore City. On the way the child passed away.

There was no neonatal care facility in the private hospital, Mr. Ramu said.

He said that the mother was very weak and was suspected to be of anaemic. She had to do manual labour to survive. There was no help from the government agencies. There are complaints that the Grama Panchayats were not releasing adequate fund for providing nutritious food through the Anganwadis in the three Grama Panchayats of Agali, Sholayur and Pudur.

Against the total requirement of Rs.60 lakh for providing nutritious food through 172 Anganwadis in Attappady in the current financial year, only Rs..25 lakh was sanctioned by the Gram panchayats.

During the meeting of the district level officials called by special officer for Attappady packages, K. Subbayyan at Agali there were complaints by Anganwadi teachers and workers that they were not having enough fund to supply nutritious food to the pregnant mothers and children.

The ICDS and Anganwadi officials told the meeting that since a huge amount was due for the food procured last year, the suppliers were not willing to supply food items. Hence, requests were made to the Secretaries of Grama Panchayats to provide adequate fund for supplying nutritious food through the Anganwadi to stop the death of tribal children due to malnutrition.

The supply of food items made through the Anganwadis were not reaching the tribal mothers and children.

During the district level meeting on May 9 the Special Officer Mr. Subbayyan made a surprise visit to one Anganwadi at Marappalam, Sholayur Grama Panchayat. He found that on record milk, egg and banana were supplied to 14 children. But they found that only four children attended the Anganwadi on that day.

In Attappady various Central government schemes for the welfare of pregnant mothers, adolescent girls etc, were not implemented. The 'Safala' schemes for adolescent girls were not implemented for the last two years.

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