Kerala

Fever grips tribespeople in Sabarimala

A mother with her children afflicted with fever, inside their hut at Chalakkayam in theSabarimala forests on Monday.

A mother with her children afflicted with fever, inside their hut at Chalakkayam in theSabarimala forests on Monday.

The scorching summer means a testing time for the nearly 25 families of Malampandaram tribespeople staying in makeshift tents pitched in the forest areas of Chalakkayam, Nilackal and Ponnampara in the Sabarimala forests.

As the summer heat has dried up most of the water sources in the forests, the families are facing acute water scarcity.

Many people, especially children, are in the grip of viral fever.

Lack of medical care

Lack of medical care has worsened the illness of many children, say Chandran and Rejani whose two children, Satheesh and Rejitha, are bedridden with fever.

They said as many as 14 children could not attend the classes at the Government Tribal School at Attathode due to high fever for the past five days.

Shortage of food is another major problem facing this hapless tribal folk who solely depend on the rice and provisions and other food articles supplied by various non-governmental organisations and other agencies for food. However, with the onset of summer, the visit of NGOs or Tribal Development Department staff too has come down, they said.

Drinking water source

The womenfolk were left with the only option of fetching potable water from a lean fresh water stream in the forest interiors of Chalakkayam that has become their lone drinking water source since the past one month.

Meanwhile, a group of students and teachers from Bethany St. Mary’s Girls Higher Secondary School at Ranni-Perinad, led by Principal Fr. P.Y. Jessen and S. Shahjahan, Parent-Teacher Association president, visited the tribal hamlets on Tuesday.

They distributed biscuits, rice and provision kits to the tribal families at Nilackal, Chalakkayam, and Ponnampara.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 5:09:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/fever-grips-tribespeople-in-sabarimala/article8302685.ece