Sahariya habitat of Mongiya ka Pura near the Veerpur Tahsil (a revenue division) headquarters has been particularly hit, though the deaths have taken place in many other parts of the district. With under-reporting of such cases being the dominant norm in the area, actual situation could be far worse.
Primary reason behind these deaths is the near total collapse of the welfare schemes, particularly Integrated Child Development Scheme responsible for saving the children from malnutrition in this district. Sahyog has found that most of the Anganwadi centers are hardly functioning. The Anganwadi staffs have been reported to go to their respective centers only once a week, whereas a few reportedly attended to their duties even less.
Such gross dereliction of duty in an area with rather high incidence of anaemia and malnutrition even among women is bound to result in such catastrophe year after year. The district has reported similar flurry in deaths due to malnutrition during late monsoons almost every year since 2005. AHRC has a list of the children that perished to the disease for several of these years. Not making any intervention to save these children is not merely an act of omission, or negligence, it is almost a criminal failure of the state machinery in implementing the welfare schemes aimed at protecting Indian children.?
The AHRC, in a press release, demanded immediate interventions to stop any more deaths from happening; taking immediate steps to make the welfare schemes reach the needy; that all entitlements as prescribed in different governmental schemes for protecting the health of children reach them, that ICDS centers run every day and cater to the needs of the community; instituting inquiry into dereliction of duty by officers responsible for these deaths and bringing them to justice and that there is no repeat of such calamity in the forthcoming years.
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