Thiruvananthapuram

Multi-department panel formed for Attappady tribes

Adverse headlines prompted by the recent infant deaths, reports of underweight tribal mothers, alleged lack of medical facilities, dismal living conditions and strident criticism from the Opposition parties appear to have goaded the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government to constitute a multi-department panel to address the issues faced by Scheduled Tribe families at Attappady in Palakkad.

Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes K. Radhakrishnan, who had visited Attappady to study the ground situation, convened a top-level ministerial meeting to mitigate the woes of the tribespeople.

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal, Excise Minister M. V. Govindan, Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.R. Anil, and Health Minister Veena George attended the conclave.

Medical segment

The meeting decided to improve the facilities at the tribal hospital, Kottathara. The government would modernise the hospital’s paediatric ICU and the special wing for women and children. Ms. George said the Health Department would examine the functioning of public health centres at Attappady. A special team of doctors have visited the hospital. The government has also rushed a state-of-the-art ambulance to Attappady.

Mr. Anil said the government would ensure door-to-door delivery of provisions and food kits. It would supply food material preferred by tribal families.

Mr. Balagopal said the government would sanction funds for Attappady tribal development and allied schemes. The Excise department would carry out awareness campaigns against alcohol abuse and provide de-addiction treatment to those who desire so.

Self-sufficiency

Mr. Radhakrishnan said Accredited Social Health Activists, Scheduled Tribe Promoters and elected members of local government institutions would work in tandem for tribal welfare. The State aimed at making the people of Attappady self-sufficient. The meeting also decided to recruit local persons as government officials in the region.

Opposition stance

Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had slammed the government “turning a blind eye” to the travails of the Attappady tribal population.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Sudhakaran, and BJP State president K. Surendran had visited Attappady in the wake of the death of two infants. Media reports of undernourishment and lack of basic amenities, including piped drinking water, had not improved the government’s image.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 1:43:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/multi-department-panel-formed-for-attappady-tribes/article37800080.ece

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