NCPCR Issues Notice To Odisha Chief Secretary On Nagada Deaths

Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued a notice to Odisha Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report on the death of 19 Juang tribal kids due to malnutrition at Nagada village of Jajpur district.

The commission issued the notice on August 24 after accepting a petition filed by Akhand, working Group Member of Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR) in the matter.

In the petition, Akhand had alleged that 19 children of the village died of malnutrition.

There is no road connectivity to the village. Rocky mountainous track is the only path and medium of communication for the tribal people from their village to Gram Panchayat and rest of the world, said the complainant.

The total population of Juang tribe is around 250 with 36 families. Almost all children within the age group of 3 to 4 years are seen malnourished. All of them are illiterate and could not understand Odia language, he said.

They consume only rice, leaves and salt. Dal or vegetable like potato, onion, and oil are not available in the village. In the case of non-availability of rice, they consume roots. They also consume Mushroom collected from the forest, said Akhand.

As per the National Food Security Act and guideline of Antodaya Anna Yojana, all Primitive Tribal Groups including Juang are entitled to avail 35 kg of rice per month. A faulty survey conducted by the government in this village has deprived many families of getting 35 kg rice under Antodaya Anna Yojana, the petition said.

“Causalities in Nagada village is due to sheer negligence of the administration in charge of monitoring and implementing the various programme. This village has been left out of development project of the state government for years together. National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme implemented under NREGA has the mandate to provide 100 days guaranteed employment to the families in the rural area. But they have not got any work under NREGA since last several years.”, alleged Akhand.

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