The death of at least 20 children due to malnourishment in Nagada village in mineral-rich Jajpur district in the last four months may have exposed the development claims of the Odisha government.
The acute poverty and lack of basic welfare services in the inaccessible village, inhabited by Juang tribes, came to fore only after the loss of precious human lives. The death of malnourished children has proved that several flagship schemes have been inaccessible to the community, which comes under particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).
The state administration rushed to the village to provide health service and food grains to the people.
“The officials of the district administration are there. We have made provision to provide take home ration cards and chhatua to each family of the village through Anganwadi workers. Besides, two mini Anganwadi centres would be set up,” said Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi.
She, however, said the death of the children occurred as there was no family planning among the Juang tribe.
“As per the survey conducted by my department, 24 families in this village have 122 children. Such disturbing phenomenon is due to lack of awareness among the Juang tribals,” said the minister.
However, the opposition parties trained their guns at the government for its failure to ensure the development of the tribals.
“Nagada has opened everybody’s eyes to the true state of affairs in the tribal areas. The death of children due to malnourishment has brought to the light the falsity of claims made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik about the development taking place across the state in the past 16 years,” said Opposition leader Narasingha Mishra.
BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said it exposed the state government, which has been claiming that they have carried out development in the last 16 years.