After 116 deaths in September- October last year, the situation in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh seemed to have deteriorated with number of malnourished children increasing by over 1,700, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has said. Scindia, the chief whip of Congress in Lok Sabha, has written a letter to Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi in this regard.
He demanded that a central team be sent to look into the situation and necessary directives be issued to the state. “116 children had died due to malnourishment during September-October 2016 (in Sheopur). Instead of decrease, the number of malnourished children has been increasing in the district,” he said in the letter, released to media today.
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Number of malnourished children was 22,708 in October 2016, and it went up to 24,448 in December, he said. “So, number of malnourished children in the district has gone up by 1,740 only within a period of two months,” he added. Scindia also mentioned in the letter his meeting with Maneka Gandhi in September last year.
The Union Minister had assured immediate action but there was no improvement even after months, he said, adding, “number of malnourished children has been increasing even after spending an amount of Rs 2.5-crore”. Madhya Pradesh High Court had, in an order on January 18, said that action would be taken against women and child development officers in case of malnutrition deaths, he said.
“Despite this, the officials are careless,” Scindia alleged. The Congress leader had earlier written to Gandhi about malnutrition situation on September 14, September 21 and November 18, 2016.