शनिवार, 23 जुलाई 2016

Fact-finding Report on Hunger, Malnutrition, Deprivation among Paudi Bhuyan

Fact-finding Report
on
Hunger, Malnutrition, Deprivation  among Paudi Bhuyan Primitive Tribal Groups, Mal-implementation of Food Security programme and  Denial of services under Paudi Bhuyan   Development Authority  in Lahunipada block of Sudargarh distrit, Odisha

Date of Visit: 22.7.16
Member of Fact-finding Team
1.      Sri Pradip Pradhan
State Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha & Member of Advisory Group of NHRC on Right to Food, M- 9937843482
2.      Sri Sanjay Sahu, RTI Activist and member of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha       M-8658416694
3.      Sri Rajendra Oram, Social Activist and Local Volunteer, Lahunipada Block
4.      Sri Bansidhar Mohanta, Social Activist and Local  Volunteer




Right to Food Campaign, Odisha
Plot No- 393/2035, padmabati Vihar, post-Sailashree Vihar, Chandrasekhar Pur, Bhubaneswar-751021, Odisha, E-mail- foodrightsodisha@gmail.com

Report of Fact-finding Team on Hunger, Malnutrition, Deprivation and Denial of entitlements  under various  food security and welfare programme and Paudi Bhuyan Development Authority  to  Paudi Bhuyan Primitive Tribal Groups  in Lahunipada block of Sudargarh district, Odisha

In the backdrop of malnutrition death of 20   infants of Juang tribes in Sukinda Block of Jajpur district, industrial hub of Odisha   which has generated unexpected reaction from opposition political parties  and Civil Society Groups alleging failure of state machinery , callous and lackadaisical attitude of Govt. officials and subsequent counter reaction given by the Ruling party as a single case and not to be politicised as state issue,  Right to Food Campaign, Odisha decided  to bring to limelight  how most of the Primitive Tribal Groups residing in different parts of the state are suffering due to   sheer negligence, careless attitude   of the administration and huge corruption and loot of development project  and welfare programme meant for them.

As a first step in this direction, a four-member fact-finding Team of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha had visited to Mahulipada Gram Panchayat of Lahunipada Block under Banei sub-division of Sundargarh district on 22.7.16.  The Team  visited four  villages  of  Paudi bhuyan tribes ( most  vulnerable  Primitive Tribal Groups of Odisha )  i.e., Kiri, Keta, Kundula and Kunu etc. located  in Hilltop. The Team reached at Derula village at 9.30 am and started journey to visit these villages and covered 10 kms mountainous track and natural stream and reached in the said villages at 12.30 noon. There is no road connectivity to these villages. This village is around 50 kms from Banei sub-divisional head quarter. The journey to these villages is very pain-staking and life risk. However the team successfully finished visiting these villages and came across disastrous situation of life and livelihood of Paudi Bhuyan tribes, denial of entitlements under food security programme, the tribals suffering from hunger and malnutrition, corruption in NREGA work etc. and returned at 6 pm.   The Team members  interacted  with  both  the  male  and female members  of  Paudi Bhuyan and Munda tribes  about  various issues affected  their  livelihood, Govt. negligence  and their  food  security, accessibility to Govt. programme.
The details of villages and number of paudi Bhuyan  families is as follows  -

 Name  of  village
No. of Paudi Bhuyan families
No. of  Munda Tribes
Kiri
20

Keta
9

Kundula
1
11
Kunu
16
3
Total
46
14


Findings of the Team

1.       Failure of ICDS programme
ICDS programme , one of the most important food security central schemes  implemented to provide nutritious food  to the  children of  vulnerable  section of the  society along with free immunisation and health check up  was found  non-existent  in  these Juang tribe-dominated  villages. There is no Anganwadi centre in the village till today. The centre is located at  Derula village at foot of the Hill  which is 10 kms  from  Juang villages. It was also found that Anganwadi Worker Kuni Palei did not stay in the centre. Her house is 13 kms distance from Anganwadi Centre. Neither Anganwadi Worker nor any ICDS officials even CDPO has ever visited these villages since 20 years. The children are never immunised. They are also deprived of getting cooked food. THR (Take Home Ration) i.e., Chhatua and egg meant for pregnant and lactating woman and children of 3 to 6 years is hardly given to them. Kunu Nayak, mother of four children, a lactating woman said that she uses to get 5 eggs once in a month against 8 eggs allocated per month in their name. Chhatua  was found  tasteless. On query about availability of Rs.5000.00 under Mamata Yojana, the tribal women expressed their ignorance about the said provision. As there is no road communication, they use to go for home delivery. The team came across a number of children suffering from malnutrition and sever disease.

2.       Mal-implementation of NREGA work
The mandate of NREGA to provide hundred days guaranteed employment to the rural poor was found suffered due to huge corruption and irregularities by Govt. officials. While interacting with the villagers Saila Dehuri, Nandu Nayak, Kamanu Giri, it was found a single road construction work under NREGA was sanctioned and undertaken in their village in 2014. They were not informed about the amount sanctioned for the said work. The 21 tribals of   Kundula and Kunu village had worked as wage labourer. But they were not provided their due payment.  Sri Shuvan  Gond, Sarapanch and Panchayat Executive Officer misappropriated  the money and did  not pay their wage, alleged by them. The work has remained incomplete till yet. Nobody could show their job card in the village. As the villagers were cheated by Sarapanch and denied payment, they did not show their interest to do the NREGA work further. There is no labour employment programme implemented in these villages.   

3.       Non-Implementation of IAY and Biju Pucca Gruha Yojana
The State Govt. is implementing both the rural housing schemes to provide financial support to the poor people for construction of house. But while enquiring about any allotment to any house to any family, it was found that 4 families of Munda tribe of Kundula village i.e., Markas Munda, Daud Munda, Santosh Munda, Junika Nag was allotted IAY house in 2010.  Since then nobody has been allotted house by the administration. Similarly, no Paudi Bhuyan tribe of all these four villages has been allotted house under IAY or Biju Pucca Gruha Yojana.

4.       Non-Implementation of Forest Rights Act
During interaction with both Munda and Paudi Bhuyan tribes, it was found that not a single family has been allotted forest land under Forest Rights Act, though they reside in vicinity of forest areas.  No community forest right has been conferred to any village. 

5.       Food Security
Food insecurity is very high among Paudi Bhuyan tribes. Rice and fried leaves is their staple food. Vegetable is hardly found in their food menu. Consumption of only rice and leaves left them suffering from malnutrition.

6.                   Others issues
a.       There is no primary school in the village. A very few children have been admitted in Ashram School, Darula.
b.      No Agriculture or horticulture scheme is implemented in these villages. The tribals are hardly aware about modern cultivation. Whatever small agricultural activities are done by them is very traditional.
c.       No land patta has been allotted to any family in these four villages.
d.      No Govt. official has ever visited these villages since last ten years.
e.      There is no drinking water facility in these villages. The  villagers are  using  stream water  for  drinking water purposes.

Analysis of the Problems and Recommendations
1.       Paudi Bhuyan tribe is most vulnerable and neglected tribe in Odisha.  They generally reside in Hill top in Keonjhar, Angul, Sundargarh and Deogarh district and  remain isolated from external world.  To bring them to mainstream of development, the   State Govt. is implementing Paudi Bhyan Development Agency (PBDA) with fully funded by Central Govt. But the Team observed that these villagers are not covered under PBDA. No development project under PBDA has ever been implemented in these villages.  No Govt. officials have ever visited to this village.
2.       All the Govt. plan and programme meant for socio-economic development of tribals in the state are found dysfunctional due to negligence, callous and lackadaisical attitude of state bureaucracy and insensitivity of Ruling political party. 
3.       ICDS which is considered  as most important food security programme to provide six types of service i.e.,  immunisation, free health check up, Supplementary Nutrition Programme, referral service is denied to the children, lactating and pregnant woman  due to non-functional of Anganwadi centre  till today. They have remained deprived to get nutritious food and other benefits for years together.  The denial food and free health treatment has made their children suffering from malnutrition and hunger. The negligence of ICDS staff, lack of monitoring and corruption and irregularities in distribution of food in ICDS project has endangered   the life of their children.
4.       Absence of road connectivity and 10 kms mountainous track did not allow them to avail medical facility at the time of need.  Lahunipada Primary Health Centre is 40 kms from their area.  Lack of Medical facility at their door step is another biggest problem for them.
5.       Illiteracy is very high among Paudi Bhuyan tribes. There is no school in the village.  Few children have been admitted in Ashram School run by Dept of SC and ST welfare, Govt. of Odisha.  To provide free and compulsory education to the children under Right to Education Act proved farce in this village. 
6.        Lack of Employment has also posed serious threat to their life and livelihood.  Finding no employment and income, they do not take required nutritious food.  Rice and fried leaves is only option to consume for survival by compulsion not by choice.  NREGA which has mandate to provide 100 days guaranteed employment to the people has suffered due to corruption and irregularities   and misappropriation by Govt. officials.  Though the tribals worked hard   in road construction work under NREGA, they were denied wage payment   which has frustrated them not to do the work.
7.       The absence of Govt. programme and lack of monitoring of Govt. officials has kept the tribals isolated from concept of Modern Development. Their deprivation from Govt. scheme and programme has kept them suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

Recommendations

1.       Full-fledged Anganwadi Centre should be opened in these villages to provide all the facilities including SNP to the children of paudi Bhuyan tribes.
2.       Road connectivity to be ensured to the village through effective implementation of work under NREGA. Payment pending with Gram Panchayat or misappropriated them must be investigated and the tribals who had worked and not paid in NREGS work must be paid immediately.  The Govt. should continue labour intensive work under NREGA and other development project in order to provide employment to the tribals.
3.       There should be mobile team to be entrusted to visit the village periodically to provide free medical service to the tribals and to be made available at the time of need getting   emergency   call from the people.
4.       Agriculture and horticulture scheme should start in the village on war footing way.
5.       The malnourished children should be provided medical treatment and other fooding support as early as possible.
6.       The tribals should be allotted homestead land and house under Biju Pucca Gruha Yojana.
7.       They should be allotted 4 acres of  patta land under Forest Rights Act.
8.       A Primary School should be opened in these villages to comply Right to Education Act.
9.       Drinking water  should be ensured to the villages  at the earliest to save them from any epidemic. 


10.   Various welfare programme should e undertaken  under Paudi Bhuyan Develoment Authority  in these  villagers  in order to develop socio-economic condition of the tribe. 

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