Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that all possible steps will be taken to prevent the death from malnutrition and anaemia of tribal children in Attappady.

At a review meeting on drought-relief measures in the district here on Friday during which the issue of the deaths of several tribal children in Attappady was raised by MPs and MLAs, the Chief Minister said three Ministers – those for Tribal Welfare, Scheduled Caste Welfare, and Health – would visit Attappady on Saturday to take steps to solve the crisis there.

Measures were being initiated to provide drinking water in tanker lorries to the people, Mr. Chandy said.

The Chief Minister met a delegation of tribal chieftains from Attappady after the meeting. The Chief Minister said that directions had been issued to provide nutritious food to the tribal children and pregnant mothers.

The Mooppans, in their memorandum to the Chief Minister, called for immediate steps to streamline the working of hospitals and primary health centres in Attappady.

The memorandum demanded ensuring the supply of nutritious food to children and pregnant women. It urged the authorities to start anganwadis in the Kurumba tribal areas.The tribal chieftains wanted health camps to be organised in all tribal hamlets.

Jayalakshmi’s visit

Special Correspondents write from Thiruvananthapuram: Tribal Welfare and Youth Affairs Minister P.K. Jayalakshmi will visit Attappady on Saturday.

The Minister said in an official release here on Friday that she would first reach Nellipathy in Agali panchayat at 8 a.m. and participate in a mega medical camp at the Tribal Speciality Hospital at Kottathara. A review meeting will be held at 11 a.m.

The Kerala State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has on its own registered a case and ordered an inquiry into the neonatal deaths in the tribal hamlets of Attappady.

Own up: VS

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said that the State government should own responsibility for the death of 33 tribal children in the Attappady hamlets.

In a statement here on Friday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the children’s death and the detection of diseases among around 500 inhabitants of the tribal hamlets clearly showed that they did not even have food for survival.

It also showed that the tribal people had not received any benefit form the huge sums of money pumped into tribal welfare.

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