Death of 4 children is coming to light now

One more infant has died of alleged malnutrition in Attappady here, taking the toll of such deaths to five in the past two months.

Six-month-old Kaliyamma, daughter of Shelvan and Veeramma of Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur grama panchayat of Attappady, who was admitted to the Kottathara Tribal Speciality Hospital on March 22, died on Friday night. Meanwhile, an ongoing survey by the Health Department to identify cases of anaemia and malnutrition among tribal people, found that 245 persons from 2,310 houses (6,515 persons) surveyed were affected by anaemia or malnutrition. They will be brought to a medical camp for detailed medical examination being organised at the Tribal Specialty Hospital on April 20.

The survey, which began on Thursday, will be completed on April 19, covering all the 10,200 families living in 192 tribal hamlets of Attappady.

ICDS District Officer Sobhana Kumari, who visited Attappady on Thursday, said that food would be delivered by ASHA workers at the houses of children and pregnant women who were not able to visit anganwadis. She said that six vacancies of ICDS Supervisors in Attappady had been filled.

The grama panchayats of Agali, Pudur, and Sholayur have decided to distribute milk, eggs, and banana to pregnant women, children, and teenaged girls in all the hamlets of Attappady. It was alleged that anganwadis in Attappady were not supplying these foods.

Deaths not reported

Four tribal children in Vellakulam hamlet of Sholayur grama panchayat had died due to malnutrition between January and March this year but the deaths were not reported, according to a survey.

Rajendra Prasad, the president of ‘Thambu’ an organisation working among tribals which conducted the survey, said that the child of Rengi and Raman died on March 9, 2013. The mother of Rengi was anaemic. Her first child born on June 5, 2011 also did not survive, he said.

The child of Wanchi and Vellangiri also died on March 25, 2013. The delivery was at Thrissur Medical College.

Twins born to Chelli and Velan, who were delivered at home, also passed away in January this year, Mr. Prasad said.

Probe

M.B. Rajesh, MP, has demanded an inquiry into the recent death of five tribal children and an elderly woman due to malnutrition in Attappady. At a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Rajesh said Ministers of Scheduled Tribes’ Welfare, Social Welfare, and Health must visit Attappady to find the reasons for the deaths, for which he blamed the lack of co-ordination among these departments. Officials of these departments who failed to discharge their duties should be proceeded against. Mr. Rajesh said that he would visit Attappady on Sunday to study the situation. Meanwhile, the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) has started distributing 10 kg of rice and two kg of green grams to each tribal family in Attappady. On Saturday, rice and green grams were distributed to 210 families at Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur grama panchayat.

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