सोमवार, 28 नवंबर 2016

Updating Civil Society Intervention on “Child Death in Malkangiri district of Odisha”

Updating Civil Society Intervention on “Child Death in Malkangiri district of Odisha”

The large-scale child death due to hunger, malnutrition and   absence of effective health service delivery system in Malkangiri has prompted Civil Society Groups to intervene and play an effective role to check the disaster. Child death is not new phenomena in Malkangiri.  Like other tribal districts, thousands of tribal children are dying every year in the district after being suffered from Malaria, dysentery, diarrhoea, stomach problem, pneumonia etc. and lack of proper treatment in Govt. hospitals. The information obtained  under RTI from the office of CDMO, Malkangiri on 3.11.12   has exposed  that  from 2007-08  to 2011-12, around 7400 children  have died due to contraction of  various diseases like  Epilepsy, ATI, LBW, Diarrhea, Ashthma, Fits, Burning, UND, Septicemia, Birth Asphyxia, Fever related ailments and Boll cancer etc.  The Govt. ‘s claim of child death  due to outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis disease  and later on consumption of Chakunda seed in  2016 is designed  to befool  the people and suppress the fact.  As per Govt. report out of 90 cases of child death (blood sample was tested), child death due to Japanese Encephalitis is in 30 cases only. So the reason of death of other children is not known to Govt.  So it is proved that the child death due to JE is not properly established by the State Govt.  As per media report, 136 children have died till 28.11.16. against 400 child death as per non-Govt. source.

In view of child death in Malkanagiri  due to Japanese Encephalitis in 2012, a Fact-Finding Team of  Right to Food Campaign, Odisha had visited   the district to ascertain the fact and tried  to find out the reason of  child death  from non-technical point of view.  The team had  come across  disastrous  implementation of ICDS and MDM programme, huge corruption and irregularities in various services, denial of health service, large number of malnourished children etc.

After reported child death in Malkangiri  in mass media,   a number of steps have  taken by  Civil Society Groups  to  study  the reason of the  death of the children, intervention of the Govt. , local situation,  socio-economic condition of the tribals,   consumption of food by the tribals,  health delivery system, implementation of food security programme etc.  Besides that,  they have also taken number of advocacy effort to fight it out at different level.  These are  as follows.

18th to 20th Oct. 2016
A four-member Fact-finding Team of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha  comprising  Pradip Pradhan, State Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha and Member, Advisory Group of NHRC on Right to Food, Sri Ashok Patnaik, Advocate and RTI Activist, Sri Bikash Dandsena, Social Activist, Malkangiri, Sri Era Padiami, Tribal Activist, Malkangiri had made 3-day visit to the district, made in-depth study of the situation. The Report exposed  callous, insensitivity  of  district administration, disastrous health system,  failure of food security programme, bad governance, denial of nutritious food to the children etc. 
A Press Meet was organised  in Malkangiri  district headquarter  and the  Fact-finding Report was shared with media.

A Memorandum along with Fact-finding Report   was presented to the Collector, Malkangiri
 Compliant case was filed to National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi seeking intervention of the Commission as it is a case of denial of Right to life and food guaranteed under the Constitution.  The relief was sought for sending special enquiry team to Malkangiri and awarding compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the families. NHRC has already issued notice to state Govt.
  Complaint Case was filed to State Food Commission and Odisha State Commission for Child Rights seeking their intervention to check child death in Malkangiri.
Following  the  complaint,  State Food Commission   called a meeting  for  discussion on child death issue  and explored  the possibility of intervention   in Malkangiri  
A state level workshop was organised to debate and discuss on above mentioned issues and finding out the scope for intervention of Civil Society in Malkangiri under aegis of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha and Human Rights Front, Odisha at Red Cross Bhawan, Bhubaneswar Around 80 participants   including representatives of NGOs, Civil Society Groups, retired Govt. officials, experts had participated in the discourse and shared their views with the participants. It was decided to submit a memorandum to Governor, Odisha and to observe black-day  in Malkangiri.  
Civil Society Groups presented memorandum  to  Governor, Odisha  to exercise  his power  as  constitutional authority  for scheduled areas to constitute judicial commission  on Child Death,  review  all programme and issue direction to check   child death in Malkangiri.
 The Odisha High Court  issued  notice to both State Govt.  and Central Govt.  and Collector, Malkangiri on Writ Petition Case No. 19919 of 2016  filed  by Sri Ashok Patnaik, advocate and RTI Activist of Malkangiri  along with two tribals.  
A Black-Day  was observed in Malkangiri  and  protest Dharana was organised  in front of Collectorate office  condemning  failure of the State Govt.  to check child death and holding district administration responsible for it.
Pradip Pradhan
State Convener
Right to Food Campaign, Odisha

Date- 28.11.16 

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