Personal tools
You are here: Home Archives Hunger Alerts 2009 Hunger Alerts UPDATE (India): More children severely malnourished found in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh
Navigation
 

UPDATE (India): More children severely malnourished found in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding malnourished children in the villages of Java Block, Rewa District. We have found that many children are severely malnourished and the government schemes and programs guaranteeing right to food, including heath care and employment are not fully implemented because of discrimination against the tribal community as well as the corruption of the duty bearers. Despite the demand for immediate action for the severely malnourished children, neither government authorities nor the health institution has taken any action.

UPDATED INFORMATION:

The AHRC has reported in AHRC-HAC-008-2009 that more than 80 percent of the children are malnourished in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh. We have received more details about other children who are severely malnourished in three villages at present.

Kuthila village

One year-old Meena died in November 2009. She was severely malnourished and identified as grade IV. She was refused treatment by the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at Sirmour in September 2009 when her parents took her there. The official of the NRC at that time told that there was no bed available for Meena.

With the help of human rights activists of Samaj Chetna Adhikar Manch, Meena was admitted at the NRC located in Java Block on 30 September. She was discharged after 14 days of treatment which did little to improve her health condition, and died 15 days later. Meena’s sister Himashi (20 months old) is also identified as malnutrition grade III. As Meena’s case, the NRC also refused Himashi.

Mr. Sukhchain, Meena and Himashi’s father migrated to Uttar Pradesh state in order to get a job to support his six family members. The family belonging to tribal community live in Kuthila village, Java Block, Rewa district where four children are reportedly malnourished in a previous hunger alert. As Sukhchain’s family does not have farmland, which is the main income source in rural areas, he was forced to migrate to seek a job for a year while depending on government schemes guaranteeing food security for the poor.

None of the government schemes are fully implemented. Sukhchain has a Job card providing 100 day-employment under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) a year but was merely given 20 days employment. Moreover, the relevant administration authority has not paid him so far. The ration card issued to the poor has never given to his family. Other families deprived of their fundamental rights like Sukhchain’s family are facing a similar situation.

Ashish (12 months old) is also severely malnourished weighing 5.3 kilograms. His father Mr. Ramai has neither a ration card nor a job card. The family have no other choice but to migrate to Uttar Pradesh since Ramai has no income source.

All these children are far away from the Anganwadi (AWCs; child care centre) worker’s support. The workers belonging to the upper caste do not take care of these tribal children and no government officials monitor their lack of action.

Ramgadhwa village

Deepak suffering from grade IV malnutrition was reported in last hunger alert. His father who holds a job card has worked for only 12 days in a year. As he could not get any work nearby his village, all the family were forced to migrate to another area. Migration in creating insecurity makes children more vulnerable to the seasonal diseases and malnutrition. Five more children suffering malnutrition and exclusion from government schemes are listed below.

1. Jyoti, daughter of Ram Prasad Kol (tribal community), 2 kilograms weight, no ration card, no job card
2. Uma (24 months old), daughter of Ram Bhajan Kol, grade III malnutrition
3. Rashmi (36 months old), daughter of Munna Lal, grade III malnutrition
4. Sangita (24 months old), daughter of Shivvachan, grade III malnutrition
5. Archana (12 months old), daughter of Ram Saroj, grade III malnutrition

It is alleged that the ration shop in the village opens on a few days per month and even the villagers come to know about it they find it difficult to manage cash to collect rations on a particular but unpredictable date. Those who have job cards under NREGA only get 10-12 days of employment a year against the proposed 100 days employment. They are even paid half of full payment earmarked after the work evaluation by Panchayat (local council institution) Secretary.

There is an allegation that the villagers employed under the NREGA are not paid by hours /days but paid by the amount of work they finish a day. In fact the local administration ignores the fact that even adults exposed to food insecurity do not have same physical capacity as average adults’ one. The evaluation is not based on the context of their food insecurity.

The worker at AWC in the village rarely comes to the visit the children and women and the supervisor or Panchayat pays little attention.

Kalyanpur village

Priyanka suffers from grade IV malnutrition. She was also refused by the NRC at Java Block and not even referred to other health institutions. Her father Mr. Sanat Kumar has not been given any work for last three months though having a job card. The irregularity in the opening of the ration shop makes it difficult for his family to collect rations with their Below the Poverty Line (BPL) card.

Sushma is identified as grade IV malnutrition. Her father Mr. Pappu Basor migrates along with whole family mostly for a year to Kanpur and all family members do rag-picking for a living. Even worse than other families, they have not received work under the NREGA. They find it difficult to manage two meals a day causing Sushman to suffer from malnutrition.

Whereas Motilal (18 months old) malnourished as grade IV merely weighing 7 kilograms was treated at the NRC for 14 days. He improved but still suffers from grade II malnutrition after discharge. This results from the absence of follow up treatment including provision of nutrition. Motilal’s father Mr. Jayprakash, the same as Sanat Kumar has not had any work from 100 days-employment scheme for last three months. Families depending on the government schemes for right to food have to take a loan at high interest to manage daily food. Despite this they sometimes eat only Indian flat bread with salt or chilly.

All these children in the village have been deprived of their right to food and health, which is supposed to be ensured by the government programme, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) at the first stage.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write a letter to the authorities named below to express your concern for the severely malnourished children. The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

Re: INDIA: More children may die of malnutrition in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh

Malnourished children:
1. Himashi (20 months old), grade III malnutrition, daughter of Sukhchain, Khutila village, Java Block, Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh
(Meena, Himashi’s younger sister died on malnutrition in October 2009)
2. Ashish (12 months old), son of Mr. Ramai, Khutila village, Java Block, Rewa district
3. Jyoti, daughter of Ram Prasad Kol (tribal community), 2 kilograms weight, no ration card, no job card, Ramgadhwa village, Java Block, Rewa district
4. Uma (24 months old), daughter of Ram Bhajan Kol, grade III malnutrition, Ramgadhwa village, Java Block, Rewa district
5. Rashmi (36 months old), daughter of Munna Lal, grade III malnutrition, Ramgadhwa village, Java Block, Rewa district
6. Sangita (24 months old), daughter of Shivvachan, grade III malnutrition, Ramgadhwa village, Java Block, Rewa district
7. Archana (12 months old), daughter of Ram Saroj, grade III malnutrition, Ramgadhwa village, Java Block, Rewa district
8. Priyanka, daughter of Sanat Kumar, grade IV malnutrition, Kalyanpur village, Java Block, Rewa district
9. Sushma, daughter of Pappu Basor, grade IV malnutrition, Kalyanpur village, Java Block, Rewa district
10. Motilal (18 months old), son of Jayprakash, grade II malnutrition, Kalyanpur village, Java Block, Rewa district

Location: Khutila village, Ramgadhwa village, Kalyanpur village, Java Block, Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh

I am writing to you to express my deep concern about malnourished children living in Java Block who may face same destiny as the children who have died of malnutrition over the past few months ago.

I have learned that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has reported recently that 22 children died of malnutrition associated with other sicknesses in Sidhi district and 61 children are malnourished out of which 23 are severely malnourished in Java Block of Rewa District.

I am further informed the details of the severely malnourished children in Java Block and why they are deprived their right to food and health.

Meena’s (died of malnutrition in October, 2009) father, Mr. Sukhchain and migrated to Uttar Pradesh state in order to get a job to support his six family members. The family belonging to tribal community live in Kuthila village. As Sukhchain’s family does not have farmland, which is the main income source in rural areas, he has to migrate to seek a job for a year while depending on government schemes guaranteeing food security for the poor. His other child, Himashi is currently severely malnourished.

Sukhchain is not the only case in the village. All the families of these children have neither farmland nor sustainable income. Insecurity migrant work is the only option for survival, which promotes food insecurity and child malnutrition. Moreover, I have learned that none of the government schemes are fully implemented.

I am informed that Sukhchain has a Job card providing 100 day-employment under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) a year but was merely given 20 days employment. I am further informed that the relevant administration authority has not paid him so far. His family does not have any ration card to collect rice and wheat at subsidized price. Other families deprived of their fundamental rights like Sukhchain’s family are facing a similar situation.

I am further informed that the ration shop in Ramgadhwa village opens only a few days per month. Even when the villagers come to know about it, they find it difficult to manage cash to collect rations on a particular but unpredictable date. I have studied that it is against what the Supreme Court guarantees for right to food in its Order. However, no system monitors and punishes the duty bearers so far.

I have also learned that some were paid only half of full wage earmarked under NREGA after the work evaluation by the Panchayat (local council institution) Secretary. I have learned that the villagers employed under the NREGA are not paid by hours /days but paid by the amount of work they finish a day. I am of the opinion that the local administration ignores the fact that even adults exposed to food insecurity do not have same physical capacity as average adults’ one. Accordingly, I am also of the opinion that it is unfair to demand on average labour to the person who does not have average food intake.

I have learned that the workers working at Anganwadi centres (AWCs; child care centre) have never visited the children nor keep the record of the children’s health condition which is blatant negligence of their duty violating right to food of the children. It is alleged that the workers belonging to upper caste discriminate the children who belong to the tribal community.

In addition, I am informed that the children were refused to be admitted to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) due to the lack of beds. The NRC is an emergency heath institution but refuses the severely malnourished children from the tribal community. I have learned that the NRC located in Java Block merely has ten beds.

In light of this, I urge you to take immediate action for these severely malnourished children in Java Block. I also urge you to conduct investigation into the public servants violating domestic Orders guaranteeing right to food.

I will look forward to your immediate response.

Yours sincerely,

--------------
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Krishna Tirath
Minister of Women and Child Development
Government of India
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 2331 4788
E-mail: krishnatirath@yahoo.in

2. Principal Secretary
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Nirman Bhavan
Maulana Azad Road
New Delhi - 110011
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 2306 1751
E-mail: hfm@alpha.nic.in

3. Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister
Madhya Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: +91 755 2441781

4. R. C. Sahni
Chief Secretary
Government of Madhya Pradesh
Mantralaya
Bhopal 462 004
Madhya Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: +91 755 2441751
E-mail: cs@vallabh.mp.nic.in

5. M. Geetha
District Collector
Rewa District
Madhya Pradesh, India
E-mail: dmrewa@mp.nic.in

6. Mrs. Shantha Sinha
Chairperson
National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
5th Floor, Chnadralok Building, Janpath,
New Delhi
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23731584
E-mail: ncpcr.india@gmail.com / shantha.sinha@nic.in

7. Country Director
World Food Programme
2 Poorvi Marg, Vasant Vihar
New Delhi 110057
INDIA
Fax: +91 112 615 0019
E-mail: wfp.newdelhi@wfp.org

8. UNICEF
73 Lodi Estates
New Delhi 110 003
INDIA
Fax: + 91 11 2462 7521 / 11 2469 1410
E-mail: newdelhi@unicef.org

9. Mr. He ChangChui
Regional Representative
Maliwan Mansion
Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: +66 2 697 4445
Email: FAO-RAP@fao.org


Thank you.

Right to Food Programme (foodjustice@ahrc.asia)
Urgent Appeals Programme (ua@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission

Document Actions